We’re all for treating everyone with kindness and respect—until they cross the line. Then, it’s time for one thing: Payback. From horrible bosses to unhinged Karens to cheating exes, these people didn’t bother getting mad. They just got even.
1. Private, Keep Out
So, I’m married to a wonderful woman. She’s smart, funny, and very kind. Her mother is generally very nice and tends to have a great attitude and be very enjoyable. Sure, she’s a bit of a prude, but still generally enjoyable. However, she can be a bit of a major snoop. If my wife leaves her phone sitting around, she will just pick it up and start going through it.
My wife has kind of laughed this off as a remnant of her mom being controlling when she was a kid. I’m not a fan of this because my wife and I will sometimes text about things that simply don’t involve her mother and I don’t feel are her business at all. So over Christmas, I saw my wife set her phone down on the kitchen counter, and I had a brilliant idea.
Her mom was still in the kitchen and I sent my wife the most racy and depraved text about all the things I was going to do to her when everyone left. Honestly, most of them are things we haven’t even done, but I had to make it extra scarring. I sent this text from the bathroom. And maybe it was my imagination, but I could swear I could hear an audible gasp shortly after her phone went off.
When I went out, her mother absolutely would not look me in the eye. Then not so discreetly, she asked her daughter to come to talk to her in the other room. When my wife came back into the living room, I thought she had been crying, however, upon closer inspection, she was laughing. Her mother had questioned her about me “harassing” her and asked if I always talked down to her like that.
My wife had told her kindly that what we do is between us and us only. Probably the best gift this Christmas.
2. At A Loss For Words
I’m in a class where a group research project and presentation is a huge chunk of overall points. Everyone knows that in group projects, you always have that one slacker who doesn’t do anything that you have to compensate for. However, I got stuck with possibly the worst three people to be in a project with in the class.
I did the entire research, presentation, poster boards, etc., among many other annoying things myself. I tried talking to them and telling them they needed to put in their share of effort. Ignored. I’d send them tasks to do, ignored. I’d try to schedule meetings, they’d say they were coming and then leave me alone at the library.
This happened from the get-go. It was abundantly clear that they expected everyone else to do the work, but “everyone else” turned out to be just me. So here was one rule: We couldn’t have things 100% memorized word for word, and we couldn’t read off of anything. Basically, we had to actually know the subject we were discussing.
I was fully prepared to do most of the talking and even wrote down a small script for them and told them to know what to say during their part, at the very least. The night before, I told them we had to meet to at least go over the whole thing one time. Once again, none of them showed. At this point, I’m livid and decide they can just do it themselves.
This means they’d get up there, not know a darn thing to say other than the small info I gave them, and they couldn’t even make up anything because they did no research. Thing is, if we miss the presentation without an excuse, we fail the project. If you have an excuse, you have to have documentation. That’s when I came up with the perfect solution. I commute and live an hour away, so I decide that I’ll conveniently have a flat tire right before class.
I went out and actually bought a tire so I could have the receipt to prove it. I emailed the professor, who said I could present by myself during his office hours. Turns out, they COMPLETELY tanked, and not only probably failed the project but since they’re bad students, the professor might even make them fail the entire class.
3. ER Karen
I worked in an emergency room (ER) for six years. Every person who has worked in the ER knows that Mondays are the busiest days of the week, and also when all the crazies come out. This day was no different. I worked as a nurse in triage, where you initially get assessed in the front before going to the back. Here we determine who needs to go back first and who can wait.
It’s NOT a first-come, first-serve situation as most people think. We had a few stretchers in the front for people who needed to be monitored a little closer or needed IVs, blood draws, labs. There were six stretchers, but this day was so busy that all stretchers were filled, plus five more in the hallway. This lady comes in on an ambulance but because her symptoms did not indicate an emergency she was put in stretcher triage to wait her turn.
To be fair, she was in a lot of pain. After an assessment, I recognized her symptoms as being caused by gallstones (painful but not life-threatening). We put her on a stretcher, started an IV, drew labs, and hooked her up to the monitor just in case. A few minutes later, the patient’s daughter comes in the front door. One look at her and we knew she would cause problems.
She had everything from the shoes to the haircut. A classic rich Karen. When she saw that her mom was still in the front and hadn’t seen a doctor yet she started screaming that she knew the CEO of the hospital and that we would all be fired if we didn’t get her mom back to see a doctor RIGHT NOW! We explained that her mom has a history of gallstones and even the patient was saying that she has had this pain many times because of the gallstones.
We explained about being really busy and that there were no rooms available in the back and will get her back as soon as we could. She eventually calmed down but was still antsy. About an hour later another patient comes in and was put on the stretcher beside the mother and her daughter. This patient had worrying complaints, but on initial assessment, we could not find anything wrong.
However, as a nurse, you learn to ALWAYS trust your gut. When your gut sounds an alarm, you listen. Something about this patient was setting my alarm bells off but all his vitals were normal and I had no solid evidence to declare him an emergency. I hooked him up to the monitor and kept a very close eye on him. I let the charge nurse know of my concerns and she said to let her know as soon as something changes.
Not five minutes later, something changed. Now, at this time I should explain that this hospital was a level 1 trauma center, meaning we get all the bad cases from car crashes to shot victims. Since we had to be ready for any traumas, we had a room with three beds that was closed off from the rest of the beds because traumas usually involved a lot of people and a lot of blood.
Even on busy days like this one, those rooms were empty unless there was a trauma patient. Now, back to the second patient. I was taking the vital signs of the mother when I looked over to the second one. I noticed a worrying change in his rhythm and stopped with the woman to start assessing him to see what was going on. Well, that did not sit well with the daughter.
She actually grabbed my arm and told me to finish with her mom. I jerked my arm free and said I had to make sure the man was OK. As I turned around, his rhythm went life-threatening. I called the charge nurse to inform her of his condition, all the while unhooking him from the monitor and throwing his bed into drive. This is where the crazy ramped up.
As I started pushing him back, the daughter actually jumps in front of the stretcher and stops it. She’s screaming that her mom was here first and needed to be seen before. She kept screaming that I was a liar and that she was going to get me fired. I’m usually a mild-tempered person, but knowing this guy was literally minutes from crashing, I said to the woman, “You have a choice: get out of my way or get run over.”
I started pushing the stretcher forward. Now, I’m really good at pushing stretchers fast and getting the patients where they needed to go in a hurry. The daughter tried to stand firm but she saw I wasn’t going to stop and jumped out of the way just as I was an inch from hitting her. Unfortunately, she did not move fast enough and I ended up running over her foot.
At this point, I didn’t care and got the patient back to the trauma room, leaving the daughter screaming and lying on the floor. We spent about 30 minutes on the patient but he ended up coding. By the time I got back up front, the mother and daughter had been taken to the back to see a doctor. Still, my charge nurse warned me that they were filing a complaint against me.
A few days later, the actual CEO of the hospital came to visit me on my next shift. He was known to be a kind and fair man. Since this happened during a time before cameras were put in the ERs, he had to take what happened from word of mouth. Apparently, the daughter said I attacked her several times and put her mom’s life in danger by not assessing her properly and that I should be fired.
It turned out that the mother did actually have gallstones and nothing else. However, the daughter’s foot was broken due to me running over it. I calmly explained exactly what happened and that the daughter’s action might have ended up in the patient dying because of the delay she caused. When I got to the part of what I said to her and running over her foot, the CEO actually started laughing.
He then tried to cover his mouth to hide his laughter. He explained that the daughter was a friend of his sister’s and he knows exactly what kind of person she is. Not only did I not get fired that day, but he also put a personal note in my file praising my actions. On my next review, I got a large raise and a bonus thanks to the CEO’s note.
4. What’s Mine Is Yours
I don’t mind when my roommates borrow my stuff. We’ve all been there. All I ask is that they replace what they take. You drink my milk? Just buy me new milk. It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, my current roommate doesn’t seem to get this. She keeps taking my stuff and when I ask her to please replace everything she takes, she’ll buy one new thing and “forget” to do it the next time despite having more money than me.
I finally snapped when I wanted to wash my clothes but only found an empty box that used to contain my washing powder. I don’t buy fancy or expensive stuff and I don’t care about brands. After using the last of my powder a week earlier, she could literally have bought the cheapest no-brand powder in the world and I would have been fine. So I just snapped.
I had told her over and over to not use my washing powder if she wasn’t going to replace it and I just had enough. I bought a new box of washing powder, some Dylon machine dye, mixed it with a bit of the washing powder, and dumped it into the old box. When the dye is dry, it looks like washing powder, especially if you’re not expecting it.
I took my new box of washing powder to my room and waited. A week later, I came home from work and saw her laundry hanging outside, all with a mysterious pink color. She stomped up to me and demanded to know what I had done. I told her I was going to dye my own clothes and someone had told me the shade would be lighter if I mixed it with powder (lie), then asked her why she had used it when it had clearly been in a box with my name on it when I had told her not to use it because she never replaced it?
I don’t think she believed me, but she finally got the message. She almost never takes my stuff now and when she does she’s quick to replace it.
5. There Isn’t Room In This Town For The Both Of Us
So I’m at Costco, in need of dog food, and it’s ridiculously busy for a Monday. Barely any parking spots, until I spot one at the end of the lot. I make my way down the aisle and am about to turn into the parking spot when a lady RUNS OVER THE CURB and almost hits me to take the spot. Thankfully, I tapped my brakes in time or she would have taken off my bumper.
I look up and she is shaking her head and wagging her finger in a “no” motion at me. What the heck? I was like okay, I’ll just wait for her to back up since I’m obviously turning into the spot. She doesn’t. My girlfriend is with me and was so angry that the lady wasn’t budging. So I gave her my Costco card and just sat in the aisle in a face-off with this lady.
My girlfriend goes inside, gets the dog food, comes back out, and loads up the car. She then pushes the cart into the spot we were waiting for and hops in the car. The look on the woman’s face was enough to give me satisfaction for a week. She had to get out and move the cart so she could park once I reversed through the entire aisle. Worth it.
6. Cheaters Never Prosper
When I got divorced—my alcoholic wife of 18 years had started another affair, this time with her addictions counsellor—my lawyer and I laid a trap for them. Just in case you don’t know, intimate relations between a counselor and patient are very frowned upon by the regulatory bodies. And I was more than angry after putting her through rehab ($25k, which I didn’t have to do) only to have her fall back into her old behavior.
Shortly before the divorce was finalized, I filed a complaint with the State body licensing health professions. Knowing they were in some peril because of their unprofessional relationship (I had already gotten him fired from a major teaching hospital), she had backed off her exorbitant demands. I paid her a very modest settlement, kept the house, got custody of the three tweenage kids, plus got child support.
Her lawyer naturally included a clause in the divorce where I had to agree to not say anything negative about her lover and their relationship. But the lawyer messed up and never asked if I had already filed charges and thus didn’t require me to rescind them. Her lawyer had assumed I was just bad mouthing them to neighbors and friends, and it never occurred to the lawyer that we were doing much more. But we were doing much more.
When the Board of Health Professions responded to my complaint shortly after the divorce was finalized, I told them that it would take a subpoena to get me to testify, since a subpoena trumps an agreement in a divorce settlement. They were happy to oblige. They stripped his license and placed him on a register of sanctioned health professionals.
He never worked again. They were broke in a handful of years and she divorced him when the money ran out. Oh, and the frosting on the cake was that his wife and I traded notes, notably hotel receipts from the time of their affair, that helped each of us in our respective divorces. In the end, justice was very much served.
7. All That Glitters
I work for a construction company and we do remodeling on homes. We have a rule here that we get to keep anything we find hidden behind the walls. We hired this guy (we really needed a worker badly) who was a total jerk from day one. I’ve been working for this company for five years and this guy has only been doing construction for one year after he got fired from his accounting job.
Anyways, he would always make fun of my clothes and my accent, and one day he went too far by telling my boss about my private Instagram account pictures. He got on my phone and looked through my Instagram page and showed my boss pictures of me with weed. Joke’s on him; my boss is my friend from eight years ago and this wasn’t a surprise to him.
Still, I was so mad that he violated my privacy—so I made a plan to screw him right over. He was the kind of guy who would always come in late and complain that trains or traffic is why he was always late. One day, I overheard him saying that if he won the lottery he would quit this job for not getting the “respect” he deserves.
You know, because you have to earn your respect here. So a few days later, I bought some fake gold coins online and put them in a metal box I found at the antique store. Then I waited for a chance to hide it in a wall. Luckily, I did not have to wait long. The day he found the coins, it seemed like it was his best day ever.
The first thing he did when he opened the box was call my boss a loser and quit immediately on the spot. He said, “screw this place, I’m rich.” Little did he know, that was the best day of my life. After he quit, my boss told us that he was going to fire him anyways for always showing up late…I wish I could see the look on his face when he finds out the gold coins are fake. Best $40 I spent in my entire life.
8. Sort Out Your Priorities
I am 5’4″ male who looks less muscular than I am. I was in line for priority boarding and it had just started when the woman behind me said “Excuse me, this is for priority boarding. You need to wait with everyone else.” I ignored her and presented my boarding pass with my active duty ID. My only revenge was when the attendant said “thank you for your service.”
I turned to the woman behind me, grinned, and said “thanks!” Before boarding.
9. Cooking With Gas
Several years ago, I lived in the northwest coast of Puerto Rico. It’s a very relaxed area, with tons of good restaurants and lots of green space. My apartment was on a cliff, not far from the water. The electric infrastructure was a bit old, so when it was rainy season, we’d lose power for a few hours at a time. Not a big deal—I had a gasoline generator.
Enter a new neighbor. He lived two doors down from me, and drove an amazing custom Chevy van from the 70s. All it needed was an epic airbrushed Wizard on the side. Sadly though, that’s where anything good about him ended. I caught him taking the gas out of an orange jug I’d leave outside in case the generator ran out. Although I saw him do it, and called him out on it, he denied it and played stupid.
So after the second time, I took all of the gas in the jug, filled the generator with it, and put the rest in my car. I then went to the nearest gas station that had diesel and filled it up with diesel. A few days later, I am woken up by a tow truck backing up to pick up his now disabled van. I looked out the window and you could see the anger on his face. He moved out the next month, and from what I gathered from talking to people in the community, he was a general piece of trash human and what happened to him was deserved.
10. Noise Pollution
I used to have a terrible work schedule. I’d have to wake up at 2:30 am every morning so I could be at work by 4 am. My downstairs neighbors would blare loud music at all hours of the night and I could feel the bass through my mattress. I went downstairs and politely asked them to turn down the music, and they seemed to kindly agree.
As soon as I got back into bed, they turned it up even louder and kept it going until about 1:30 am. They didn’t know who they were messing with. Before I left for work at 3:30 am, I turned over my amplifier so that the speaker was facing the floor. I turned the volume up and set my guitar on top of it. I left for my 12-hour shift, and the feedback was still screaming when I came home. The neighbors never blasted their music again.
11. A Messy Message
We lived in a neighborhood of townhouses. One neighbor let her dogs go #2 all over everyone’s lawn and she never picked it up. We tried asking her to be more considerate, but she didn’t listen. We even tried picking the mess up for her and putting it on their doorstep, but she still refused to do it. So, my one neighbor decided to get a piece of it and smear it all over the front of the house. After that, she started picking it up.
12. Don’t Be Crabby
My mom’s neighbor called the city on my mom to force her to repair the fence that divided their yards. This lady had always been a crabapple for 10-plus years, but this move really ticked my mom off. The fence did need a few mild repairs, and my mom would have done them right away if the neighbor just talked to her about it (she was already in the process of getting quotes).
The city contacted my mom and told her that she needed to maintain her fence. My mom asked if she had to have a fence by law and the person she talked to could already sense where this was going. Turns out, there are rules about maintaining a fence, but she was not required to have one. So my mom paid a contractor to tear it down entirely.
The neighbor came to talk to my mom and asked when the new fence will be built. My mom replied, “If you want a fence, build it yourself!” A couple of weeks later, my mom had a nice new fence, courtesy of her annoying neighbor. A little petty, perhaps, but hilarious nonetheless.
13. You Are What You Eat
A couple things about me that made it really suck to have a food thief: I have a lot of food allergies, so I can’t just get lunch at the cafeteria or at a nearby restaurant. I have a new baby, who I’m breastfeeding, and who I pump for when I’m at work. You know how hungry pregnant people are? Yeah, the caloric requirement for breastfeeding is 100-200 calories higher. I am always hungry.
Because I have a new baby, half the time I don’t manage to show up at work with a lunch. I either run out of time to pack one, or if I did remember, I leave it on the counter. My solution to all of this was to leave lots of non-perishable snacks in my office. And also a lot of candy, because I also have a three-year-old and therefore work is the only place I can shovel Skittles into my mouth without a little hand extending into my field of vision and a little voice saying “pwease?”
These were snacks that were specifically free of my allergens. Some were also specialty foods because of this. The type of specialty food that just doesn’t taste as good as food that contains the allergen, and also costs twice as much. Because I’m not getting a lot of sleep right now, I deserve nice things. So, because I’m not getting a lot of sleep right now, when I first came back from maternity leave, assembled my snack hoard, and started having things go missing, I genuinely thought I was just losing my mind.
Boxes of candy were running out faster than I thought I was eating them. I’d come in in the morning and things wouldn’t be where I’d left them. At one point, I brought a bag of chips to work, folded the rim of the bag down so I wasn’t plunging my arm elbow-deep into a grease pit, and then put a bag clip on it when I went home. When I came in the next morning the bag was unrolled and re-clipped.
I went “Wow, I must be more tired than I thought,” rolled the bag back down, and the next morning it was unrolled again. Just little things like that, almost every day, that made me go “Wow, the post-baby brain is worse than I thought!” And then. And then! Then I got the flu. I got sick, and I was out for a whole week. Left behind at the office was an almost-full box of Enjoy Life cookies, which are not enjoyable but are free of all major allergens, and are also $5 a box for, like, 12 sad little sand pies with some cinnamon on top.
I ate one row of these cookies, and then I was out of the office for a week. For one week, I was not eating any of my snack hoard. But someone else was. Because I came back to work, opened my box of cookies, and found one. There was one single, solitary cookie left. And, on further examination, the one box of candy that had been opened was nowhere to be found, and on top of that the thief had done me the courtesy of opening a new box for me, except that they actually followed the “push here to open” instructions instead of just ripping one end of the box open like I do.
The combination of these two things—the sheer freaking audacity it takes to open a new box so you can continue taking from someone, on top of the consumption of almost a whole box specialty cookies that aren’t even GOOD—enraged me enough that, after going to my boss and getting some vague promises about checking if the security cameras in my wing of the building are functional or not (what??) I went straight to Amazon and ordered myself a nanny cam.
Not for my baby. For my snack hoard. Conveniently, it arrived the day before Valentine’s day. I set it up on top of a file cabinet looking down at my desk. On the desk, I laid out a fantastic spread of snacks. I got all my thief’s favorites, and then I took it one step further. I bought myself a Valentine heart, broke the seal to make it more inviting, and left it out on my desk.
The next morning, I came in to some very obvious snack carnage. My thief had slowly been getting more brazen (again, who OPENS a new box of something?? And opens it DIFFERENTLY than the person they are taking from??) but this was just on another level. Individually wrapped things had been dumped out of their boxes. Bits of packaging had been thrown away. And, yup; they’d eaten some of the Valentine candy.
For shame, office thief! Don’t you know that’s from someone who loves me?? I played back the video. All was quiet throughout most of the evening, and I was just watching the shadows lengthen as the sun slowly set through the hallway window. And then! Shortly before midnight! The night janitor arrived! And went right ahead and took a 12-minute break in my office, sitting in my chair, eating my food.
I started taking screenshots. I got him shoveling candy into his mouth with full palm-to-lips intensity. Pouring things out onto the desk to pick his favorite flavors. Not even bothering to put them back where he found them. And yes. Eating my Valentine’s candy. Screenshots went directly to my boss in an email. I went directly to my boss’s door to hover and grin and ask if he’d read my email.
And I got assurances of a strongly worded email to the cleaning company and the barring of this particular employee from our place of business. I was also, tactfully, asked to please take my unauthorized spy camera home, which I did. I thought this was over, but it wasn’t. One day, the girl who works the concession stand dropped by to thank me. Apparently the food thief would start his shift just as she was closing down for the night, and would try to get free coffee in that “creepy guy” way.
And then one of the reception staff came by with the same sentiments. I’d never met the guy face-to-face, but apparently, as a woman, it was not a fun experience to have. I’d shown my screenshots to a few co-workers and word had spread fast. I worked an earlier shift, so I didn’t recognize him, but people whose shifts overlapped with his did.
I hadn’t told my husband about what I’d done because when I came home raging about the blatant theft that had gone on while I’d been sick, his only response had been “You really shouldn’t be leaving food at work, then.” But, when I came home with the nanny cam and explained where and why I’d gotten it, his reaction surprised me.
“You know, I think this is the first time I’ve seen you stand up for yourself. I’m proud of you.” Y’know what? I’m proud of me too!
14. Yeah, That’s Not How This Works
We don’t own a car and live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and I have people use my driveway all the time to turn around. It’s not a huge deal to me, a little annoying when they compact the snow and it’s harder to shovel, but whatever. One of my neighbors had a ride service come pick up their child every day. The van would park in my spot and begin honking at like 8 am (I worked nights at the time).
Half the time he’d be half parked on my grass. I told my neighbor that I don’t overly mind my spot being used, but not if the guy is going to honk like that every morning and especially not if he’s going to drive over what little lawn I have every time. She spoke with him, he ignored it. I spoke with him and got “what’s your problem man, it’s not like you’re using it.”
To which I repeated that I don’t mind him using it if he stays off my grass and doesn’t honk every morning. Apparently suggesting he wait until the kid notices he’s there or, god forbid, he have to drag his butt out of the car to knock on a door was just ridiculous and inhumane of me. So I left a recycle bin at the foot of my driveway. He just ran over it.
I called the dispatch for the ride service and was told they are sub contractors and technically self-employed but they will pass along the message. I wake up the next day to pounding on my door. Dude is ANGRY. Him: “How dare you call my boss you stupid piece of trash! What is wrong with you? Me: “Well it’s quite simple, you were told not to use my driveway if you were going drive on my lawn and wake me up every morning. Now get off my doorstep.”
Him: “I’ll sue you if I lose my job because of you.” Me: “You’ve been warned. Don’t trespass on my driveway or property again!” Dude storms off in a huff spouting curses. So this happened on a Thursday, the kids had a PD day the next day, and it’s supposed to be one of those delightful Canadian weekends where it drops to like -40 Celsius.
For my American friends, -40 is where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet up, so it’s freaking cold. So that night, I grabbed one of my more beat up plastic garbage bins, made sure to plug all the holes with a generous amount of duct tape, stuck a sign on it that read, “private property, driveway not for public use” and proceeded to fill it to the brim with water.
Now, before anyone thinks I’m a jerk willing to potentially endanger the other kids in the car, I’d like to point out that my neighbor’s kid is the first to be picked up, so it’s just him in the car. Queue Monday morning. He sees the garbage can, backs up a bit more, and defiantly charges the can as if to teach me a lesson. He then proceeds to cause some pretty serious damage to the front end of his car. Dude gets out fuming, calls the authorities and comes pounding on my door, screaming about how I’m going to buy him a new car and that I’m about to go to the slammer.
Officer: “So let me make sure I understand this situation. He asked you not to park here if you couldn’t refrain from honking, then warned you not to park here and put up a barrier. Now you expect him to be charged and pay for damages you caused yourself to your vehicle in an attempt to destroy his own personal property?” I will never forget the look on his face when the officer said, “Yeah, that’s not how this works.”
He then turned to me and asked if I wanted to pursue charges for him damaging my personal property. I just gave him the biggest grin I could muster and said, “Nah, I think we’re good.” I then went back inside to enjoy a morning coffee while watching him from my kitchen window as he paced back and forth in the cold waiting for a tow truck and having to call the company he worked for to explain why they needed to send out another driver to complete his route.
15. Dad Of The Year
So, my daughter, who was about eight at the time, was REALLY into Minecraft, as most kids are these days. She was also desperately wanting to join the YouTube/Let’s Play culture, so I had installed some screen recording software that would let her make videos of the games she was playing so she could later upload them to YouTube.
Anyways, one day I’m minding my own business when I hear her quietly sniffling over on the computer. I asked her what was wrong, but she didn’t want to tell me so I let it go, but decided to keep on eye on her. A few minutes later I discovered what was happening. Someone was harassing not only her, but also all the other kids playing on whatever server she was on.
This kid was saying stuff about how he was going to harm my eight-year-old daughter (she told him how old she was hoping he would stop), how he was going to hack into her IP and take her information, swearing profusely (remember, this is a game for kids), etc etc. By this time I had gotten my fiancée involved, and she was also obviously quite upset at what this kid was doing.
We then realized that our daughter had been recording the entire incident, and a plan began to form. I started by googling the kid’s username. There were several hits immediately, the most interesting of which involved a page where he was publicly applying to be a mod for a server on Minecraft. I was able to learn a lot about this little idiot.
He claimed to be 15, likes hockey, used to live in Toronto but now lives in Florida. But the bombshell was easily his Skype contact info; it was literally firstname.lastname. I know your name now, you jerk. So I head over to Facebook and search for the name. Nothing. Hmmmm. On a hunch, I searched for just the last name, while narrowing my results to only the state of Florida.
Several dozen hits. Hmmm. So I have to start combing through each one, until I find what I was looking for: A middle-aged man with the same last name, whose profile indicates he was born in Toronto and now lives in Florida. I FOUND YOUR DAD, YOU LITTLE JERK. So I sent him a message on Facebook, asking if he had a son named firstname who goes by his username on Minecraft.
Dad confirmed I had the right guy. So my fiancée begins telling the dad everything that his son was saying to my daughter, and we sent him the recorded video as proof. Radio silence for a few days. Then we got the message back. This jerk had his computer taken away from him for the entire summer. He had also been lying about his age; he was only 11, I think.
His parents were livid with him, and he surely hated the next few months of his life. No one screws with my daughter.
16. Take Your Time
I was in line at a grocery store cashing out a 12-pack of drinks. A woman walks towards me and takes her place in line, however instead of standing behind me in line, she decided to stand right beside me. The woman in front of me finishes her transaction and what do you know, the lady beside me actually pushes past me and tries to cut me.
Honestly, in my head, I was about to just let her go because she clearly was in a much bigger rush than I, and I personally didn’t mind waiting an extra two minutes. No big deal to me. However, the awesome cashier (who has cashed me out frequently) says to her “Uh, I’m sorry but she was waiting here before you.” The lady scoffs and steps aside.
With a huge smile on my face, I make sure to have a nice and lengthy “How’s your day?” “Yeah thank god it’s Friday!” “Did you do anything fun on Halloween!?” chat with the cashier. She knew, I knew. The lady knew. The whole time I felt the lady in a rush’s eyes burning a hole in the back of my head, and I was just loving every minute of it.
17. Hit And Run
I was trying to find a parking spot at my university. The lot was notoriously crowded but my campus didn’t have a lot of options. While searching, I saw a Corvette taking up FOUR prime spots near the front of the lot. After about 10 minutes of waiting and looking for a spot, one opened up towards the back of the lot finally.
Furious at the nerve of the Corvette driver being so inconsiderate, I then wrote a note saying, “Sorry I hit your car, you probably won’t even notice the damage,” and left it on their windshield. When I got out of class and was headed back to my car, I saw a very stereotypical college-aged Corvette owner frantically searching their vehicle while yelling into their phone.
I don’t know who they were talking to, but I feel bad for them having to deal with this person.
18. Sibling Rivalry
So a few weeks ago my brother, sister, and myself (all in our early-to-mid 20s) took a little siblings vacation to California for a week. It was the first time we’ve ever done anything like this. A few nights into the trip, we went to a basketball game in Sacramento, after a day where we had been drinking on and off.
As we took our seats, I took my jacket off and placed it on my seat. Knowing I have a penchant for being somewhat forgetful, I asked my sister if she could remind me about it as we left, to which she looked absolutely disgusted and remarked, “I’m not your mother.” Well sheesh, we were having a very nice trip to this point and I had no clue that kind of reaction was coming.
But whatever, I figured she was cranky or something and let it go. Wellllll, wouldn’t you know a few nights later we had gone out to eat, and she was the first one to stand up and walk away from the table, leaving her purse on her seat. I did what any responsible older brother would do and quickly snatched it up and hid it inside of my jacket.
After we had walked about 7-8 blocks away from the restaurant, I made some remark about how weird someone else’s purse looked and she immediately realized what she had forgotten, and began running back towards the restaurant. I filled my brother in and we took a nice casual walk back to the restaurant where my sister was freaking out because her purse wasn’t there.
I simply held up her purse, looked her straight in the eyes and said, “I’m not your mother.” It was gloriously cathartic.
19. Nature’s On Her Side
My grandmother had a neighbor who refused to help her repair the fence between their properties. It was still fully functional as a boundary line, but it was falling apart. Any conversation about fixing the fence ended with him saying that it was on her property, so it must be her responsibility to repair it. I guess that was fair.
She took a fall and was hospitalized for a few weeks. Upon her return, she found a new fence built an extra five feet into her property and a bill in the mail from the neighbor. He argued with her for months that she owed him, saying that the original fence was actually on his property and that where it was now was the boundary line. So my grandmother got a surveyor and…surprise!
The neighbor had taken five feet of her yard. At that point, she was already very old, frail, and tired of fighting her neighbor. But she had an ingenious way to get her revenge. She planted blackberries along the back fence and within two years, it was covered. Every year, she’d walk the fence and throw seeds over it because, of course, it was still her yard.
After five years of fighting, the blackberries had reclaimed her property. She’s been gone for a few years now but the blackberries remain, and it’s her way of haunting her neighbor. He’s tried ripping up the ones on his side of the fence on numerous occasions, but the plants reseed themselves and grow back every year from her side.
20. A ‘Hole’ Lotta Trouble
My great-grandfather was one of the last people in town to get indoor plumbing, and as such, he had an outhouse in his backyard. Every year on Halloween, the neighborhood kids would come into his yard and knock over the building, exposing the cesspit. He got tired of it. So one year, the night before Halloween, he moved the building forward and covered the fess with burlap, disguising it in leaves and grass clippings.
In the dark, it was almost impossible to tell it was there. On Halloween night, he sat in the outhouse and waited. It wasn’t long after sundown when he heard the wet splat outside as a couple of kids fell into the muck. He lowered a ladder into the cesspit for them and said they could leave, but only if they promised to never mess with his outhouse again.
The kids honored their promise and even spread the word around the neighborhood not to mess with that outhouse anymore.
21. Shade Of Blue
My dad was talking to our neighbor about what color he should paint the house and he said, as a joke: “Well, I might as well paint the old house blue.” The neighbor became angry and responded, “You can’t do that! A blue house? How stupid and annoying! Don’t be dumb,” etc. And that’s how I grew up in a blue house.
22. Droning On And On
About six or seven months ago, my neighbor got a drone. I don’t mind people having hobbies, but for some reason he insisted on flying like the biggest jerk possible. He would hover in front of other houses and windows, try to “race” cars going down the road, and worst of all he had a habit of flying his drone in my fenced backyard.
He would start buzzing over my dog, diving low just over my dog’s head before circling around to do it again. My dog isn’t small, he’s about 70lbs and a Malamute, but the drone terrified him, and I was worried what would happen if it hit him. I asked my neighbor several times to please not fly in my yard and explained that it was scaring my dog. His answer made my blood boil.
He basically told me to get lost and laughed in my face. When it still continued, I called the authorities. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much they could do other than ask him to please not fly over my house and property. Finally, in late December it happened—my dog got tired of his torments and managed to catch the drone right as it was diving towards him.
He shredded the drone, and the thing was just a jumbled mess of wires and plastic. Neighbor was ANGRY. He stormed over to my house swearing and threatening me, which I ignored. A week later, I got a summons to small claims court. He wanted $900 for the cost of his drone and an additional $300 for supposedly denying him access to his property.
See, the drone sat in my yard for a couple hours before it was retrieved. Screw that. He could have hurt my dog. I don’t have kids or a girlfriend, I just have my dog who is my best friend for the past seven years. That dog has moved with me three times, was there when I graduated college, saw me buy my first house and my first new car.
I love my dog. But turns out, him suing me was the best thing to ever happen. When we got to small claims court, the judge basically laughed away his claims that I had intentionally trained my dog to attack his drone. But little did he know I was prepared. I had dozens of photos of my yard showing it was impossible for him to “accidentally” fly that low to my dog.
I also had videos of him harassing my dog in the past, and I had saved all my medical bills from taking my dog to the vet. $700 for an X-ray? Check. Another $250 to sedate him during? Why not, don’t want him being uncomfortable. Full dental exam with tooth cleaning/repair? $400. Then there was the cost of anti-anxiety meds and a secondary check-up, wet food for a week in case his teeth were hurt, and extra just for good measure.
In the end, the jerk ended up owing me almost $2,000, and now is being investigated by the FAA for not having a registered drone and violating several regulations concerning drone flight, too near an airport, too close to other people, out of sight of operator, and waaay above the maximum altitude. Enjoy never being allowed to fly drones again, buddy.
23. Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out
Four years ago now, when I was 24, my mom passed from breast cancer, and as both my grandmothers had also succumbed to, it I saw a specialist for a screening. I found out I had some cells in one of my breasts that could have turned cancerous at any given moment. I was told I had a few options: First, I could have regular screenings every three or four months until it does develop into cancer.
I was told the risk of the cells becoming cancerous was very high due to family history. However, it could also potentially never could turn so I’d just be getting these screenings for no reason. Second, I could get a single mastectomy on the breast with the bad cells, but they’d need to keep an eye on the other one, so I’d still need regular checkups for the other breast. Or three, I could get a bilateral mastectomy and remove all of my breast tissue, basically eliminating the risk.
I went for the bilateral mastectomy. It was admittedly the most drastic option, but after seeing what cancer did to my mom and grandmothers I didn’t want to risk it. I was warned about scarring but told it should be fairly minor. They were so, so wrong. It wasn’t and I was left with two huge, pink, jagged scars on either side of my chest.
Each was about an inch long and half an inch wide, and it caused me to go into a severe depression. It got to the stage of me not even leaving my flat because I didn’t want people to see me, throwing out my mirrors, and getting physically sick looking at myself. I went to a therapist, who suggested a plastic surgeon. The therapist said they’d never normally do that, but it was clearly something I was struggling with and I might never get over it, and the therapist could see why I struggled with it.
Although I’ll admit the therapist did send me to ask about scar reduction, the plastic surgeon suggested a cream, a laser, or implants. The cream didn’t work, and the laser was both expensive and risky, so I went with the implants. My natural breasts were an F cup, so I went with a slightly smaller DD. Since then, my mental health has improved and I feel a lot better about the way I look.
My confidence has gone up, as has my self esteem. I know I shouldn’t put so much into my appearance but I wasn’t exaggerating about these scars. Huge, bright pink, jagged, raised, just really awful to look at and I hated seeing myself, and they are now nicely hidden away and you can barely feel them. But then came the drama.
In the present day, I’m 28 years old and working in an office. I’m doing a lot better than I was. My co-worker, Jill, found out I’d had a breast job (but not about the cancer thing), when myself and my friend from years before the mastectomy were planning a holiday and she made a joke about me going on a plane with my implants, and Jill overheard.
By the end of the day, the entire office knew I’d had implants, but not why, and half a dozen people confirmed Jill had told them. Over the next few months, Jill made many “jokes” and comments about my chest to co-workers when I was in earshot, at one point saying I had “more plastic than Barbie” and calling me “fake in two ways.”
I didn’t hear this one myself, but a friend in the office told me that Jill had at one point referred to me as a “sack of silicone.” I don’t know what her problem was exactly but at one point she mentioned the hospital system, so I assume Jill thought that I’d got my breasts done for free on taxpayer money. I asked her to stop more than once, but unfortunately the places I’d talked to her were places like the elevator and the women’s bathroom, where there weren’t any cameras.
Jill just kept making comments no matter how often I asked her not to. I wouldn’t say it was every single day, but I heard at least three comments per week for three months. So I hit my breaking point. Me, Jill, and a few other co-workers were having lunch, and I referred to something as being shallow. Jill said, “You’d know all about being shallow” while gesturing to my chest. I snapped.
I said, “Do you know why I have these? A few years ago the doctors found potentially cancerous cells in my breast tissue, I was advised to get a mastectomy and was left with huge ugly scars on my chest. I went to see a therapist who sent me to a cosmetic surgeon, who advised me to get implants to hide the scars, and I did it just so I could look at myself in the mirror without crying.”
I took a breath here, then said, “So maybe next time you want to judge someone for having cosmetic surgery, you should ask them why they had it first.” And feeling like that was a mic drop moment, I picked up my food and left. For the rest of the day, I had about 1/3 of my office come up to me and offer support, and the rest tell me that Jill was just joking around and I was being a witch.
I replied that Jill was being a witch long before I was. But that wasn’t the end of it. I then got an email from HR saying they wanted to talk to me the following day, and when I called for clarification, they mentioned a “hostile work environment.” I knew the person who signed off the email and who I’d spoken to. Her name was Debbie, and she was Jill’s friend in HR, so I was fairly confident on who had reported me.
I realized that if this was already being sent to HR, I needed as much ammo as possible, so I went about collecting my information. As Debbie had dealt with me so far, it was safe to assume she would be the person reviewing the complaint with me, and if that was true I was screwed. However, I vaguely remembered a section on complaints that was in my contract when I first signed with the company.
I flicked through the contract, and there was a part in the complaints section that said I was contractually allowed to request a change of reviewer if I felt my allocated reviewer was biased. It was called an “impartial overseer.” I photocopied the page and highlighted that part. Then I messaged the people who had offered their support over Facebook.
I said basically “HR has asked to see me. Do any of you remember Jill insulting me to your face and are you willing to write and sign something saying what you heard and when?” Not everyone was willing to help as Jill is somewhat feared in the office due to her befriending HR and management, but about 20 people were willing to help me.
I guessed roughly when I’d asked Jill to stop previously and I wrote them all down, along with a rough time of when the lunchroom confrontation happened and a list of names of who was there for the lunchroom confrontation. I got to work slightly early the next morning. I went around to everyone who had messaged me and most of them managed to give me a printed and signed letter.
I wound up with about 16 letters, all from different people, and one of them was in the lunchroom for my conversation with Jill. Some even had bullet-point lists of everything Jill had said to them about me or other people, as it turns out Jill has issues with a lot of people’s appearances. She apparently made comments about one co-worker’s weight, and something awful about a different co-worker’s nose, all of which were put in these letters.
There are about 45 people in the office so while 16 wasn’t a majority, it’s still a decent amount. The letters weren’t hugely long, most were only a paragraph, but they had all the necessary information. I was asked to come to HR at 10 am. I took the letters from co-workers, the photocopy of the page in my contract, and my dates and times in a little folder with me. I got there and Debbie was the one overseeing the interview.
She got up from her desk, ready to lead me into another room. That’s when I put my plan into action. I immediately turned to the other HR worker that was currently there and said, “So is my meeting with you, then?” Debbie said “No, you’re with me.” I replied that this wouldn’t sit well with me, as “My contract states I have a right to an impartial overseer.”
As I said this, I took the contract page out of my folder. Debbie read it and said she could be impartial. I replied that I really didn’t mean to be a pain, but I had it on good authority that the person on the other end of this complaint is her friend, and my contract does say I’m allowed an impartial overseer. So Debbie stomped off to get a supervisor.
The supervisor asks how I know she can’t be impartial and I tell him that I have it on good authority that Jill, who was on the other end of this complaint, is a close friend of Debbie. He asked Debbie if this was true, to which she only replied “I can be impartial.” The supervisor took a deep breath, asked the other HR rep to come with him, and the four of us all went to review the complaint.
I thanked them for being so accommodating (I was worried I’d annoyed them), Debbie took out the complaint, and all three of them went through it with me. Debbie looked homicidal the whole time the interview was happening, as she had clearly anticipated firing me or at least recommending me being fired. The interview went something like this.
It took over half an hour and they kept asking me the same questions but phrased different ways, so this is a really drastically condensed version. Q: You said outside that you think Jill Lastname reported you. Why is this? A: Jill has had an issue with me for about three months now. Q: Why didn’t you come to us when you realised Jill had an issue?
A: I had no issue with her. Q: What issue does Jill have with you? A: Four years ago a specialist identified potentially cancerous cells in my breast tissue. I had surgery to remove my breast tissue, thereby removing the cells and the risk. After the surgery I was left with large scars on my chest. I went to a therapist for low self-esteem and depression.
The therapist suggested a plastic surgeon, who suggested breast implants to cover my scars. All of this is in my medical history which you have a copy of in my file and my full permission to review. Jill found out about my breast implants but didn’t know about the cancer. Jill had a problem with my breast implants, and decided to communicate this problem to our co-workers.
Q: Why do you feel this is true? A: Here’s 16 signed statements all from different co-workers, all testifying that Jill told the entire office I’d had breast implants on the day she found out and has since made comments about these implants frequently. They have quotes of what Jill said to them about it and rough dates and times.
Q: Rough dates and times? A: No one knew this would be escalated to such an extent so no one really took notes when it happened. Q: What event or events do you think directly led to this complaint of harassment? A: For me, harassment began when Jill told everyone about my breast implants without my consent, but as to the complaint placed against me, it would probably be what happened at about [time] yesterday in the lunch room.
Jill made a comment about me being shallow while gesturing to my breasts and I replied by giving her an abridged version of my relevant medical history and ending with a comment about the importance of getting the full story. There are cameras in the lunch room, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find that conversation. I’ll admit I could have handled the situation better, but after three months I felt I had to put my foot down.
Here’s a list of names of people who were also present. There were six people at the table, including myself and Jill. One of these people is also in those letters, and has written their account of the conversation and signed it. Q: Had you had a conversation or conversations with Jill prior to this regarding her comments about you?
A: Several, spaced out over the last three months. Each time, I communicated to her that I felt uncomfortable and upset with these comments she was making and would appreciate it if she were to stop. Q: To your knowledge, was Jill made aware of your former cancer at any point in this time? A: No. It wasn’t mentioned in the conversation with my friend she overheard and I didn’t tell her because frankly it’s none of her business and I did not feel the need to detail my medical history to a co-worker in order to avoid further harassment.
Supervisor stands up and says, “Well, I think we’re done here.” He shakes my hand and sends me back to my desk, saying that I’d hear from them after they reviewed the evidence (letters, CCTV, medical history and anything they had already) and made a decision on the case. I got back to my desk, pulled up my CV, and prepared to start the job search again. Then something strange starts happening.
About an hour goes by, then the person who wrote the letter and was there for the lunchroom conversation gets called for a meeting with HR. They come back 10ish minutes later. The other people who were also there for the lunchroom conversation get called one by one, except Jill. All of them are gone for about 10 minutes then come back, find a co-worker, and say that HR wants to see them.
Then the people who wrote letters but weren’t there yesterday are also called one by one and are each gone for about 10 minutes each, some longer, some shorter. By about 3:30, it looks like everyone who wrote a letter or was there in the lunch room has been interviewed. Then, finally, Jill gets called in. She’s gone for about 30 minutes and comes back fuming.
She glares at me while I work, but I ignore her. 4:30ish, Jill gets called into HR again. 5 pm rolls around, everyone is either leaving or getting ready to leave, when Jill storms back into the office. She glares at me the whole time she packs up her desk. She then starts telling anyone who will listen that I got her fired before shoving her way onto the lift. An email comes in from HR. My case is closed.
24. Moms Gone Mad
So this happened earlier today, and it was too perfect. I work in construction as the foreman for a new house build. The location is kind of strange. The house is 250 feet up a hill via a footpath only. All of our materials have to come up this footpath by hand. It’s a pain in the butt to manually carry, quite literally, an ENTIRE HOUSE up this hill.
One of our saving graces is having the two parking spots on the street at the bottom of this hill marked with official “No Parking” signs. Unfortunately, there is an elementary school about half a block away and the parents of children seem to regularly (at least twice a day) think it’s ok to park in our spots. Now, I consider myself a reasonable person, so if someone is parked in the spots and we don’t have a delivery or a need to park a truck, I will let it go.
If we need the spots and there’s someone parked there, however, I will ask them to move nicely and most of the time they do so immediately. Until today. I get a phone call from the lumber delivery truck that is en route to our location. He says he’ll be there in about two or three minutes. I let him know I will meet him at the street and make sure he has space to park.
He’s carrying all of the material to frame the roof of our house, which is a lot of really big lumber and will take easily an hour to bring up the hill, so naturally I didn’t want him parked in the middle of the street with his hazards on for an hour, especially when we have a perfectly good parking spot for him. As I begin my trip down the hill, I notice there is a school parent sitting in her car idling.
Assuming she’s just waiting to pick up her child, I walk up to her car and politely let her know that she is parked in a no parking zone and we really need her to clear it to park a delivery truck. She scoffs at me and rudely states back, “I’ll just be a few minutes, and your truck isn’t here, take a chill pill dude.” Before I can respond, a giant lumber truck comes around the corner.
I wave to him, and then gesture towards him to the woman in the car who has now put her window back up to ignore me. I put on my best customer service smile and wave at her through the window. She put it down halfway and angrily shouts, “WHAT!” By now the truck has pulled up alongside her car and I politely ask her again, with a stronger tone of voice to move her vehicle.
I remind her that she is parked in a tow away zone. Then she gives me this wonderful idea. She says, “Can’t you guys just unload around me? Jesus, it’s not that hard.” I give her another smile and walk away, a brilliant plan forming in my head. I instruct the delivery driver to park as closely to her as possible and block her in with the porta potty that is at one end of our reserved spots and the parked car that is parked just adjacent to our spots on the other end.
He smiles because he immediately gets what I’m trying to do, and proceeds to expertly block this lady and her car into a little two parking spot cell. We unstrap the lumber and my guys begin humping material up the hill, meanwhile I call the parking enforcement to let them know the situation. At this point in time, I wasn’t trying to get her in trouble, I just wanted a record of why we were blocking part of the street so we don’t get in trouble with the city.
The very friendly traffic officer lets me know that she can be there in about 30 minutes and deal with the situation for me, wonderful! As we continue to unload lumber, the child of the parent shows up, and wouldn’t you know it, mom is just now realizing that the lumber truck is parked so close she can’t get out of her driver door to meet her kid.
She awkwardly clambers across the inside of her car and stumbles out the passenger door, shooting glaring looks at me and the truck driver in the process. She loads her kid into the back and then begins to realize that she has no way of leaving. She comes storming up to myself and the driver and states, “I’m in a big hurry, you need to move your truck right now so I can go.”
Before I can respond, the driver gets a grin on his face. He says, “Ma’am, in order to unload the lumber on the truck we had to unstrap it, and per our company policy I’m not allowed to move the truck with any unsecured load on it. Sorry.” This sends her into near aneurysm levels of blood pressure, meanwhile I can barely contain my laughter.
“Screw your policy, I have somewhere to be!” She barks back at him. At this point, with impeccably convenient timing, the parking enforcement officer shows up and parks behind the truck. The woman doesn’t see the officer arrive, and while the officer is still getting out of her vehicle I just casually say, “Can’t you just pull out around it? It’s not that hard.”
I say this with the biggest grin I’ve ever had. I watch as she realizes that I just used her line on her. “Screw you!” She yells, and storms back to her car and angrily clambers back in through the passenger door and into the driver’s seat. Now the officer is walking up to myself and the driver, and before she can even introduce herself the mom in the car slams it into reverse and stomps on the gas.
She crashes into our porta potty and knocks it over, and then throws the car into drive and tries to mount the curb and drive onto the sidewalk. The officer, driver, and I are staring in disbelief as she gets halfway over the curb and gets stuck. I can hear her screaming over the idling truck from inside her car. The officer promptly walks up to the door of the car and orders her out.
My favorite part of the entire thing is watching her face go to shock as she realized she just did all of that in front of an officer. She gets slapped in cuffs as the parking officer calls for a second unit and she is promptly sat on the very curb she tried to drive over. She sits on the curb yelling to the now two officers about how we told her she could stay there and that we never asked her to move.
The traffic officer responds that she was the one who was originally called when she first refused to move and that she already knows what’s going on. While myself and the driver are giving a report to the second officer, my guys finish moving the remainder of the lumber and the driver finishes his statement and takes off to go back to the yard.
By the end of the ordeal she was charged with Child Endangerment, (her kid was in the back of the car the whole time) Reckless Driving, Destruction of Property, (the porta potty) and Driving on a Suspended License. On top of all that, she also got her car towed; the kid went home with his grandma and she went to spend some quality time in a cell.
I never expected her to actually heed my advice to “Just pull out around it.” But I think next time she’ll probably think twice about parking in a tow away zone, if she ever gets a license again.
25. Full Of Hot Air
This happened to me last night. I got in my car to pick up my girlfriend and my tire pressure light came on. I have a 12v air compressor in my backseat, but it’s loud and fills up sort of slowly, so I opted to drive to the local Wawa. For those who don’t have Wawa, it’s like if 7/11 got sober and went to college. Wawa’s air pumps are free to use, which usually means there are at least a few cars lined up, but when I pulled in there was only one other car.
Score. I pulled behind the guy filling his tires, and an older gentleman in a BMW pulled in behind me. After about three minutes, a woman in a brand new Lexus pulls up directly next to me and puts her window down. “I only have to fill one tire, do you mind if I go in front of you?” she asked. I said, “Actually I do, we’ve been waiting here for a little bit, sorry.”
She muttered something while rolling her window up and I put up mine. About a minute later, the guy at the pump was done. He backs up, and before I can even put my car in gear, the Lexus woman pulls her car in front of mine diagonally, blocking me from pulling into the spot, and then pulls straight in after the first guy has moved.
She climbs out of her car and gives me the MOST INFURIATING little wave. At this point, my anger gives way to a ninja-like calm, and I know exactly what must be done. I pull my car forward and stop ~6 inches from her rear bumper. The air pump is in the corner of the lot, so Lexus woman has a curb in front of her, a curb to her right (where the pump is), an open spot to her left, and now my dirty car right behind her brand new one.
She is busy filling her tire and doesn’t notice that I’ve pulled right up to her car. I step out of my car, grab my air compressor from the back seat, and start setting it up to fill my tire. Mr. BMW, who has remained completely still and silent this whole time, sees what I’m doing and asks if I can fill his tires, too. I say “of course” and motion for him to park in the empty spot to Lexus lady’s left.
As soon as he pulls in, she notices what’s happening and starts yelling. I flip on my air compressor and begin filling my tire, her cries drowned out by the sound of 250psi of justice. She comes and stands in front of me, face beet red and little flecks of spittle popping out from between her teeth as she calls me all sorts of names.
I calmly say “Ma’am, I only have one tire to fill. You don’t mind, do you?” Mr. BMW is absolutely loving this, and as I finish my tire and move to fill his, she starts up again. I finish Mr. BMW’s tire and he thanks me for my help, climbs in his car, and pulls away grinning. I wrap my compressor up nicely, pick a good song, and set my climate control to a balmy 82 degrees, all while Lexus lady is trapped in front of me.
I calmly back up, give her a little wave, and drive off into the night.
26. Justice Is Served
Many moons ago, after my divorce, I saved up enough money to move from my apartment, which was a building with 12 units, and buy a house. I was really excited and told my favorite neighbor about it. That’s when I made a disturbing discovery. He told me not to even bother trying to get my security deposit back, because the landlord never returned security deposits.
I turned in my notice. The landlord didn’t even bother to do a final walk-through. After 30 days, I emailed her and asked about my deposit. No response. I filed a small claims court case for the deposit. This lovely lady’s strategy was to hire a lawyer and bump it up to the next higher court. Most people quit after she bumped it up to the next higher court, but I’m not most people.
I had some spare time, and have always loved a good game of strategy. I double-checked with the court to make sure I could represent myself (FYI—anyone can). I then sent a certified letter to her attorney asking for a full disclosure of the evidence being presented. A huge thank you to all those TV shows that explain what full disclosure is, by the way.
A week later, I received a call from the lawyer, asking what I wanted in order to avoid court—settlement accomplished. Ok, but here’s the really petty revenge. I let my neighbor know how to get his deposit back when he was ready to move. He let the other tenants know how to get their deposits back, too. Me: +1, Landlord -12.
27. Perfect Strangers
We live in an apartment block, and occasionally have new people move in and out, yesterday we encountered a new resident, a short red-haired lady. My boyfriend greeted her with a simple “Hello.” He also tried to say “welcome,” but she cut him off with, “Shut up, I don’t know you.” Okay, not the sociable type, neither are we, let’s not get friendly then!
Today when returning from grocery shopping, we found her trying to pick the lock with what looks like a piece of a paperclip, because you know, that’s going to work. She’s apparently been at it a while, because before we could open the door with our key, a patrol car stopped and an officer called out to her. We stopped to watch because, well, it was happening.
The officer asked her why she was breaking in. She responded that she lived here. She then turned to us and said that, “They know me.” My boyfriend smiled and said, “I don’t know you.” We entered the building after the officer asked us to confirm, and mu boyfriend repeated, “We don’t know her.” Can’t wait to have more contact with her…
28. Instant Replay
I had a neighbor that had a dog that, I kid you not, barked from bout 7 pm until 5 am NON STOP. They worked nights, I believe, and they kept it outside. I knocked numerous times, and they only said: “Dogs bark, what do you expect?” Their house was directly behind mine; we shared a divided wall. So I recorded their dog for a full day.
The minute they brought him in, and I felt like they were sleeping, I popped my phone into the dock and played it on my stereo full blast facing their yard at 9 am. They came over raving mad to my wall by about 12 noon, asking me to shut my dog up. I said “It’s your dog. I recorded him, since you miss out on what dogs do. I’m just playing the radio at normal allowable city time, and I will do this every day.”
They started bringing the dog in at night after that.
29. Spanglish Strikes Again
This happened to a family friend, let’s name him Sean. His parents are American but lived in South America when he was born, he was also raised there so naturally, he grew up speaking perfect Spanish, though he obviously didn’t look Hispanic. He was blond with green eyes and fair skin. Fast forward a couple of decades, he’s now in his late 20s and has moved back to the US, where he’s lived since his teens.
Both his Spanish and English are perfect at this point. He goes to a certain “Mexican” fast food place, let’s call it “e. Coli,” where employees add your ingredients down the line and you pay at the end. As soon as he starts ordering his food, two of the workers, both Hispanic, start to make fun of his hair, his skinny jeans, and essentially his entire appearance.
I remember him mentioning them specifically wondering where his balls fit in those tight jeans and concluding he probably didn’t have any, all while subtly laughing and still maintaining a professional demeanor as they fill his bowl. Sean was able to stay composed and quiet and acted completely oblivious to everything they were saying and just carried on down the line ordering.
By the time he gets to the cash register, the cashier, who was not one of the two employees, rings him out. That’s when he calmly asks the cashier to call over the two employees, which they did since there was no line at the time. When the employees come, wondering what was up, Sean says, in English: “I really appreciate the service both of you provided. Your commentary was also top-notch. Now if you could be so kind…”
And then without missing a beat he says, in perfect, zero accent Spanish: “Me pueden llamar a su jefe?” Which translates to: “Could you call over your boss?” He says their reactions were something he will never forget. The manager comped his meal and gave him 10 gift cards to the restaurant. He lived close to that specific location, he never saw those two employees again.
30. Casa De Cheater
My boyfriend and I had met online well over six years ago through an online game by the name of RuneScape. He was 14 and I was 17, but it had felt like we had been friends forever. We both played the game very often and connected through it, eventually leading us to start a long-distance relationship. Things began to escalate as the years went on and we began seeing each other in person every few months or so.
We were about 1,500 miles apart, so one of our main priorities for the future was moving in together and closing the distance. My job had prevented us from doing that, but we had finally set a date for me to move in with him in December of this year. Our relationship never had any serious issues and I was more than happy to have him in my life as he was happy to have me.
As I got older, I began to play RuneScape less and less, as work took up most of my time. He continued to play regularly, if not more than he had when I first met him. He could never really hold down a job and barely had an income, but I supported him throughout the years and even paid his rent from across the country after he moved out of his parents’ house a few years ago.
I never really minded it because he was a sweetheart, but we began to have problems. In November of last year, I couldn’t help pay his monthly rent. I was short on cash after having to pay my own living expenses alongside car repairs and bills I owed to the state, and I just couldn’t afford to support him at the time. When I called him one night to discuss it, he freaked out and started crying that he didn’t want to live with his parents again.
I tried calming him down and even suggesting that I could help him find a temporary job until I could start providing for him again, but he wasn’t having it. He claimed his parents would harm him if he returned home, which I know for a fact isn’t true because him and his parents have stayed with me several times. They’ve given him the world.
I eventually did calm him down, but he remained passive-aggressive the entire night and we eventually hung up. Because I cared about him, I reached out to his father the next day and informed him that he would probably be moving back home after his lease expired that month. I explained how I wouldn’t be able to afford paying for his living for a month or two and if there were any local jobs he could work in order to… y’know, MAKE AN INCOME.
Apparently, a friend of his father needed help managing a small warehouse for his business and was looking to potentially hire my boyfriend for the season. It paid $15/hour and was super easy (lifting boxes, sweeping the floors, and taking inventory). I brought it up with my boyfriend that same night and he was not having it. Not only did he not want to work in a “stupid warehouse,” but he didn’t want to work at all.
All he planned to do day in, day out was play RuneScape. I brought up a few other job listings I had found in his area and he immediately shot all of them down as well. Then it got ten times worse. He then had the audacity to comment about how he thinks I should work harder and possibly work a second job. I kept my composure and simply argued against it until we eventually hung up.
I collapsed on my bed and cried for a good hour or two afterwards because of the intense emotional stress I was under. Not only do I work eight hours a day, six days a week, I’m also an industrial meteorologist. If I remember correctly, that’s a lot more work than playing RuneScape every day and using my Hulu account. I really considered breaking up with him right that moment, but I changed my mind and decided to give him another chance. Looking back on it, big mistake.
I messaged him throughout the night and we sort-of made up, but I was still a little uneasy about the entire event. He had moved back with his parents by the time December had come and I began to help him look for jobs while he wasted his life away playing video games. I eventually persuaded him to start working at a small retail store near his house and he thankfully began to make some money!
I would still buy him video games and transfer him money like normal because I spoiled him, and our relationship began to feel somewhat okay again. Last month, both him and I put our money together to fly him across the US to stay with me for four days. We hadn’t seen each other in person since last summer, so we were both looking forward to it.
He arrived and we had a great time for the first few days because he could actually take me on dates for once with his new income. Everything was perfect…until I caught a glimpse of his phone’s lock screen while he was taking a shower. “When are you gonna leave herrrrr,” the Discord message read. I could have ran into the bathroom and snapped his neck in that moment, but I kept myself together as best as I could.
I had never felt so used, disrespected, or hated in my entire life. When he came out of the bathroom, I gave him a fake smile, but I genuinely hated him from that moment on. He could have dropped on the floor and I would have spit on him. I spent the remainder of the night watching him play RuneScape and I remained very quiet. He took notice of this and asked me if everything was okay, and I lied and told him I was fine.
When it came time to go to sleep, I let him climb into bed with me and he tried initiating intimacy because it was our final night together. I rejected as politely as I could without tearing his member completely off. He was disappointed, but went out like a light. Immediately after he went to sleep, I reached over and unplugged his phone and started digging through his messages with that girl.
I feared that I had misinterpreted the message I had seen, but I was completely right after all. Not only had he been cheating on me, he had been doing so for nearly six months, leading me to believe that he hooked up with another girl directly after I couldn’t pay for his living in November. I scrolled through probably 100,000 messages and wanted to vomit my insides out by the end of it.
He had talked trash about me, claimed I was emotionally mistreating him (just as he had done with his parents), and even sent this girl my naked photos they could pick me apart physically. When morning came, I had slept in because of how late I was up reading his messages. I woke up to find him on my computer playing RuneScape and eating my food.
It was like all of our relationship had been wiped from my mind and he was now an evil stranger sitting in my house. I wanted to scream at him, I wanted to tear him apart and kick him out of my house onto the street, but I didn’t. In fact, I gave him as much love and attention as I could muster that morning because I wanted to leave things feeling normal between us.
I dropped him off at the airport and we had a quick and somber goodbye before I left him forever, unbeknownst to him. I drove back home as calmly as I could before crying my eyes out in a mix of complete anger and emotional pain. I ended up kicking my bed frame so hard that the wood split and I had to buy another one recently. If only it were his face.
I wanted to break his heart by the time he arrived back home, but I wanted it to really hurt. I logged into our joint RuneScape account that we had made several years ago, where him and I would work on training the same account and raising it almost like our “baby.” We had always joked that if we were to ever split up, he would take half of the account’s bank contents and I would take the rest. So I got him back good.
I took my half and transferred it to my main account, before taking his half and giving it away to random people throughout the game. Every last bit of it. Even items I couldn’t normally trade away, I used a spell to convert the items into coins, which I then gave away as well. The bank was now empty. And then another idea came to mind.
It then occurred to me that the credentials to his main account were written down in my desk, as he would frequently have me train his Farming skill every so often. I didn’t hesitate at all and logged into his precious 14-year-old RuneScape account. I immediately took all of the contents of his bank and sold it all on the Grand Exchange, a marketplace in the game.
It took an extremely long time to clear out his bank, but he would still be flying home for about another four hours so I had plenty of time. By the time I had sold/destroyed everything, I had four stacks of coins totaling over 8.5 billion. Now what to spend it on, hmm…I wanted to waste his “life earnings” on the most useless, stupid thing I could think of, besides him.
I logged back into my main account to reach out to a friend of mine who collects massive stacks of burnt food. For the unaware, burnt food in RuneScape has no use. You can’t “unburn” them, eat them, or even sell them on the Grand Exchange. They are, however, tradable amongst players. I’ve always poked fun at this guy for collecting burnt food, but I was now more thankful than ever to make his acquaintance in my revenge.
I asked him what the most obscure, unwanted item of the burnt food variety was and he replied “Burnt spider.” Lo and behold, he had roughly 6,000 of the item “Spider on shaft (burnt)” in his bank that he was willing to sell me. Feeling generous with my ex-boyfriend’s coins, I gave my friend a full stack of 2.147 billion coins and left a very happy customer.
I dropped the 6,083 burnt spiders in his bank, but still had about 6 billion coins left to spend. With the remaining money, I decided to treat myself. I went onto the Grand Exchange and ended up going on a shopping spree! The first thing I bought were 100 bonds. If you’re not familiar, a bond in RuneScape grants you 14 days of in-game Membership. After trading all 100 bonds to my account, I now have almost four years of Membership paid for me.
I spent a majority of his coins on extremely nice armor, all of which went straight into my account. He still had about an extra billion, so I spent it on the supplies I needed to level up an expensive skill of mine. By the end of the afternoon, he was left with a measly 150,000 coins in his bank, all of which I gave away to a guy cooking pizzas outside of the Exchange.
Nothing was left, so I decided to pick up a pile of bones off the ground and leave it solely in his bank. It might sound petty, but I laughed for a while. Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is so cruel, you ruined the tens of thousands of hours he had put into a game! Well, it was time he learned that I can be a witch, and a MEAN witch.
On top of spending every last coin he had ever made, I levelled his Defense skill. This may not sound bad; in fact, it sounds like a good thing! I helped his account progress, right? Well, no. Unfortunately for my ex, he had what players commonly refer to as a “pure” account: meaning he never, EVER dared to level his Defense skill from Level 1, in order to keep the lowest defense stats but have high offensive stats. Well, not anymore. Have fun with your permanent Level 6 Defense.
Cycling through hundreds of possible forms of revenge in my head, I then settled on getting rid of his house. It’s quite an achievement in RuneScape to have a nice house of your own. In fact, he had one of the nicest I had ever seen in the game. In order to have built it, he must have spent well over a few billion coins. Too bad I had disassembled it all in a matter of minutes, deleting it all into cyberspace.
And there’s no insurance either, he’s going to have to re-buy everything with his non-existent money if he wants a new house. Bye bye, Casa de cheater. Scrolling through his friends list, I decided to act as him and pay a visit to his friends who were currently online and admit that I had cheated on my girlfriend and was fully proud of it.
If his friends hadn’t removed him by that point, I removed them. All of them. Lastly, to add a beautiful little cherry to this revenge-filled cake. I changed his username. You’re able to change your username once a month on RuneScape, so I changed his to let everybody know that he’s a dirty cheater. I obviously won’t drop his username here, but I did the best I could to embarrass him with a 12 character limit.
He should be able to reclaim his previous username in about three weeks, but if he waits too long, I’ll be able to swipe it and slap it on a throwaway account of my own forever. He sent me a very hateful and aggressive message later that night, followed by pictures of him crying. I wrote him a sincere message officially ending the relationship, while also scaring him away by threatening to “take him to court” over sharing my intimate photos possibly filing a cease-and-desist if he were to contact me any time soon.
I don’t plan on doing any of that, I just don’t want to speak to him ever again.
31. Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
My ex-husband and I bought our home from his parents. They had the house built in the 50s. For years, my father-in-law wanted to install a shutoff valve in the utility room to, you know, shut off the water to the whole house to do some repairs. The plumber told him it would cost a large amount of money because they could not find the shut-off from the city water main at the street, the “buffalo box,” AKA the water main shut-off valve.
Since the buffalo box was MIA, they would have to freeze the pipes to stop the water before installing the shutoff valve. It was an expensive process to freeze the pipes, so it never got done. When we bought the house, we decided to get the shut-off valve installed. We called the water department and they sent two workers to shut off the water.
When they arrived, I explained the problem. They went out to the front yard, walked around a bit, and told me there was nothing they could do for me. According to the two workers, it was my problem that they could not find the buffalo box and that I should call a plumber to dig up my front yard, sidewalk, and city easement to find MY buffalo box.
Well, I have a background in residential real estate construction and I was familiar with how water mains and buffalo boxes are installed, and I told them it was the city’s issue, as they were responsible for the buffalo box, not the homeowners. According to these guys, as a woman, I did not know what I was talking about and they left.
They were incredibly rude about it, but peons like these think they can get away with being rude to an “ignorant” woman like me. They were so, so wrong. Fast forward to a year or so later. I get a call from the city manager asking why I hadn’t paid my water bill for over a year. I told him that I wanted to pay my water bill, but I wanted them to first turn off my water.
He was a bit taken aback that I WANTED them to turn off the water. So, I explained what the city workers told me about locating the buffalo box and their attitude about women not understanding those type of things. I also told him that if the city could not turn off my water, I would be happy to have free water forever, because I would never pay another bill.
We had a nice long chat about the situation and he said that he would resolve my concerns. The next day, these same two guys show up at my house with some digging equipment and spend the whole day digging up the sidewalk. Their attitudes were rather somber, because the city manager told me he was going to give them a talking to about how they mishandled the situation.
I even got an apology! They found the buffalo box, under the city-owned sidewalk! They fixed the buffalo box so it would be accessible and came the next day to fix the sidewalk. They asked if I wanted the water turned off. I declined, and I told them I would have my plumber take care of it when we had him install the interior shutoff valve. And then I paid the water bill.
32. The Foolproof Solution
I was visiting my aunt a couple of years ago in Arizona. She lives outside of Phoenix. Her next-door neighbors had three or four kids who were super annoying. There was a brick wall dividing their backyards, and such is common for the area. Upon my arrival, I found out that the kids next door were throwing things over the wall for fun.
Not just like harmless objects like twigs and pebbles, but like rocks, toys, garbage, and even knives. My aunt’s family had to keep their trampoline on the other side of the yard so it wouldn’t get stuff thrown into it. I asked my aunt about it and she said she talked to their parents, but they still kept throwing stuff. So that night, I went online and filed a report with their address.
A couple of days later, the neighbors left a note at the front door with a long apology that basically said “it won’t happen again.” It pretty much stopped after that.
33. This Land Is My Land
When I was really young, our neighbor demanded we move our septic tank because he claimed it was partially on his property. He was a complete jerk about it and just kept hounding us to do it. My dad’s a really laid-back person, but eventually, even he got annoyed. So one day, he had the property line surveyed. Turns out, not only was our septic tank on our own property, not his, but the corner of the guy’s house and part of his driveway was actually on our land as well.
My dad spent the next few months asking him when he was going to move his house off our land.
34. Lawn Invaders
My neighbor had a super annoying son. His friends were constantly running over into our yard and breaking stuff. So, we got a dog named Molly. Every time she had to poop, I’d put her on a leash and walk over to the property line so she could drop off some landmines for the kids. They were always on my property so the neighbors couldn’t complain about my dog pooping in their yard.
Finally, the bratty kid had his bratty friends over for a bratty birthday party and his parents sent them all outside to play. Of course, they were running over into our yard. I ended up getting three or four of those little jerks with Molly’s landmines. After that, they never came into our yard again. Molly got belly rubs and a hamburger that night.
35. I’ve Got The Power
My upstairs neighbor was noisy late at night. At like 2 am, he’d blast music and walk around with heavy feet. We had repeated conversations about it, but he blew us off. He bought us earplugs and told us to simply “deal with it.” Unfortunately for him, the breaker box for the building was in our unit. After conducting a few tests with his friendly roommates who hated him just as much as we did, we zeroed in on the breaker to his room and an unoccupied area.
Guess who had strange power issues at night while he was being disruptive? He wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box and he never suspected us. The landlord was aware of his disruptiveness and he was already on thin ice, so we asked him not to follow up on the guy’s complaints and he was on board. After he got aggressive toward one of his roommates over an unrelated incident, he was kicked to the street at the end of his lease.
36. Those Who Can Do, Teach
Ok folks, I want you to delight in my destruction. The particular flavor of this revenge comes from the fact that everything that goes down is the result of a domino effect that leaves devastation in its wake. Dedication: This story is for anyone who has ever been screwed over in a group project, and I certainly hope you enjoy it.
My Backstory: I’ve been teaching for many years, but it’s important to understand that in my first year of teaching, I got put on blast by an elite group of parents and their kids. Not a week went by without someone either demanding my job, trying to undermine me or just calling me a piece of trash. I nearly quit halfway through the first semester, the verbal and emotional mistreatment was so bad.
This was at a school in a tough area, so I was accused of horrific things just for asking kids to stop talking, was ripped into for giving failing grades for missing work, and even enforcing the rules in the student/parent handbook got me in hot water. My principal reprimanded me for being a negative influence on the school, and was I told that I needed to let more rules slide because he was tired of hearing from parents.
I would have parents just show up unannounced to sit in on my lessons and then tell me I was a bad educator, a bad human being, etc. I have plenty of horror stories from that school alone, but the point I want to make is that this experience defined the kind of teacher I became going forward to my next school. I needed to be that person who was untouchable, because I needed to focus on the one job that mattered: teaching kids.
My next school was in a fairly affluent area. It wasn’t uncommon for me to find out that my student’s parents made millions, which brought its own unique set of problems. However, my new principal was super supportive of me as long as I followed the school’s handbook to the letter because, by doing so, I was in line with the school’s philosophy and protected by law—we seriously had parents filing frivolous lawsuits all the darn time.
This school had long ago learned that caving to parent demands spilled blood in the water and brought the rest of the sharks in droves. My first year at this new school was successful for many reasons, but primarily because the school culture was easily adapted to. By planning ahead, I was able to head off 99% of all negative parents at the pass.
The few times a parent tried to rip into me at conferences, I ripped back so hard that I developed a reputation amongst the kids and parents as someone you couldn’t mess with. Everything I did was in line with the rules, and any attempt to take me down got stone walled by my principal, who would have to say “He’s following school policy, so I’m afraid the ultimate decision is his.”
No joke, I had some parents in tears because their kid could no longer get an A in my class. I wasn’t the teacher who wanted to destroy kids, I just wanted them to be accountable, and sometimes that meant letting them fail. Needless to say, this job became a lot of fun, because instead of waiting to be ambushed by parents, I could work on making my class fun for my students while still teaching them something.
I made ironclad rules for the classroom that brooked little argument and would adapt the following year to make it harder for students or parents to ruin my day. I have many stories like this, but this is one of my favorites. The year this happened, I taught a high school class with grades 9-12 (that’s 14 to 18 year olds for you overseas guests).
My class wasn’t necessary to graduate, but did count as a core requirement. One of my beginning of the year rules was “I never want to hear ‘when will we ever need this?’ because you didn’t have to sign up for this class.” How I structure my class is that I try to make students accountable for their own actions. My class was built so that it had something to offer everybody.
If you tried your best, you were guaranteed a C. If you worked really hard, you could get a B or an A. I would bust my butt to help a student with any reasonable request. The best example of this was a student was working hard on an assignment who said, “I think I understand it now, but can’t turn it in on time” to which I answered, “Then turn it in tomorrow for full credit. This is how hard work pays off.”
Other than a few hard deadlines in my class, I would do whatever it took to see you learn the material. Mess around in my class? I have already found ways to run circles around the pathetic excuses you throw at your parents for your poor performance. It sounds callous, but I was the teacher who would stay for 90 minutes after school to help you catch up, to help fix your project for another class, or even to listen to you cry about your parents’ divorce.
But if I caught you goofing in class instead of doing your work (my rule was that at least 70 percent of class time was intended for homework, quizzes, etc.) I would warn you a couple times, email your parents, and then wait and see if they even cared. If they didn’t, I would let you keep digging that hole until you were hip deep in water and begging for a ladder.
And then I would toss you a rope instead. You could still climb it if you tried hard enough, but a lot of kids would just cry until that hole caved in and buried them. I also utilized my school’s online grading/assignment system for nearly all of my assignments, which meant I could document when a student looked at the assignment, how long it took them, etc.
All of this allowed me to see what my students were doing, when they did it, and also if they were plagiarizing. This was one of the tools that helped me make important decisions about leniency, and also allowed me to say things at conferences such as “of course the test was hard, your child didn’t attempt the nine homework assignments until 11 pm the night before the test.”
Being able to prove that a student wasn’t trying made it impossible for blame to be laid unfairly at my feet. It also meant the worst kids avoided my class. Bonus. However, this year, something magical happened. Every other year, I would get a wave of kids who just wanted to screw around and blame everyone else for doing poorly.
At the end of the year, students would trash talk me, my class sizes would drop the following year, then I would receive high praise from those kids, so everyone would sign up, so on and so on. But this year, not only did I get a giant wave of knuckleheads, but they came with parents who loved to Make Trouble. I had already heard tales of some of these parents.
Other teachers were just dying to hear stories about our interactions, because these parents were very much Entitled. They would name drop lawyers when they didn’t get their way, try to badger teachers into giving their kids extra credit, and would largely deny any wrongdoing on their kid’s part. These were the parents who would get called in because their student was busted cheating, then accuse the teacher of making the class too hard, therefore validating their student’s need to cheat.
So about these knuckleheads. It was a group of roughly seven senior boys who all shifted their schedules to be in the same period with each other. The other teachers could not believe that I had all of them at the same time, but I just shrugged it off. Every week, the staff lounge was dying to know how I dealt with their shenanigans, but for the most part, I had shut down most of their stuff from day one.
I actually got along very well with them, despite their constant goofing, because they had mastered the ability to appear busy and didn’t distract my other kids. Then came the first group project. My class size was just right for seven groups of four to form. The idiot collective formed two groups of 4 by pulling in a kid who had been absent on the first day of the project.
These two groups crashed and burned on this project super hard for several reasons, but the biggest were that a) they screwed around during class time and b) put off a two-week assignment until the weekend before and then dumped all the work on everybody else, which resulted in everybody doing minimal effort. I handed out the bad grades and was immediately pulled into parent conferences with several of them (one at a time, obviously).
Every meeting was the same. “My kid did all the work, so he doesn’t deserve a bad grade” or “My kid didn’t understand the assignment” to which I handed over my hyper specific rubric (which is a checklist for how I grade things—I never wanted to be accused of grading based on not liking a kid). These exchanges largely went like this:
Patent: My kid did all the work and I don’t think it’s fair it should hurt his grade. Me: Here is the work your student turned in. *hands it over* Here is my rubric which I printed and emailed to your student the day the project started *hands it over* As you can see, I have itemized the grading for ease of use. I would be happy to go over the grade your student earned.
Parent: *Reads through all the evidence, looks at kid* Where are the missing parts? Student: Uh, my group members were responsible for that. Me: I can’t grade what I never received, so I can’t reasonably just raise your kid’s grade. Sorry. Now, good news for all my students. I make assignments worth more throughout the semester with the idea that kids who screw up early on can make it up later by working hard.
I seed Extra Credit throughout the semester and all of these parents are disgruntled, but happy to hear that their entitled embryo can still get an A in my class. Now, the end result of these meetings was that it clearly wasn’t my fault (remember, I had all this data to prove that I made every effort to contact everybody, etc.)…so it must be the other kids’ faults.
So these parents all decide that their perfect angel is no longer allowed to work with their previous group mates. Like a cancer, this failure of friends distributes through the rest of the class. Like the genius that I am, I make my students write a group contract for every project that details who does what and when it is due. Why is this important? Because the contract provides me the documentation necessary to allow me to dismiss a bad group member and give them a zero without their parent ruining my day. So here is where the problem begins manifesting.
These seniors begin bouncing from group to group like cancerous ping pong balls, wreaking havoc. I let students choose their groups, so these seniors are desperately integrating with anybody that will have them. Because of my class size, every group has at least one coddled child to deal with, and these children just end up rotating until all of my students have worked with one of these seniors at some point.
Now I am getting constant complaints from parents of other kids about these boys. Their kid wanted a good grade, which means they ended up doing all the work while the senior slacked. This is usually after the fact, at which time I bring up “I would love to yank that leech out of your grade pool, but you have to use the contract.”
Students don’t want to say anything because they fear retribution from the seniors, but I can’t do anything because I will be accused of harassment. The contract can provide me with the leverage I need to prove that these kids were doing no work, because these seniors have been playing their parents for years. I make my class utilize Google docs, because the changes are time stamped.
No joke, I’ve had students produce all the work the morning of a parent meeting to try and lie their way out and make me look like a piece of garbage, but that time stamp is a godsend. Luckily, my class is balanced. A bad group mate can make things hard, but not undoable, and parents are appeased that I have an out for their kid, but disappointed that their kid doesn’t use it.
Every time I announce a group project is on the way, some of these seniors sucker up to the other kids to the point that it is expected that a spot will be made for them. I’m talking buying kids lunch, bringing them gifts, etc. Seriously, the day before a group project starts, all of the seniors now sit at separate tables from each other so that they could pull the “I’m already here, let’s be in a group” card (which works most of the time).
The strain on class morale is difficult, but I am biding my time. The other students are grabbing at Extra Credit opportunities constantly so that their grade can absorb the blow, and parent complaints are completely mitigated because I am still offering every chance for success. My principal has a copy of my syllabus in his computer so that he can quote student policies that the parent signed off on.
It’s not uncommon for him to hear “I don’t read that, so it doesn’t apply” but he reminds them that the clause above the signature line says “My signature denotes that I have read this document in its entirety and agree to abide by all the rules” or something similar and that this should be a lesson to the parent and the student that when you sign something, you should read the fine print.
So right now I have seven slothful seniors, but I shall name the worst of these Larry, Curly, and Moe. The fallout affects all of them, but these three are the ones whose parents have a boner for Making Trouble. Every time they threaten a teacher into compliance, I imagine they sit around in a room, laughing at how they got their way yet again with a lowly teacher.
I know that anything I do will be heavily scrutinized once the grades start falling and I need to be able to shrug it off because I have other stuff to do, and I refuse to be the smiling topic of discussion in their celebratory conversation. However, a special note about Larry—since he turned 18, his parents now travel nonstop and are impossible to reach. Larry is now just a huge jerk, because his parents no longer care about what he does.
I closely monitor their grades in my class, but also in others. This may sound sketchy, but I routinely do this with any of my students who struggle with the material so that I can identify if the issue is my class or all of their classes. Students have been known to fake their grades using Inspect Element and I got tired of hearing “But they have As in their other classes.” because then I look like the liar.
Anyway, after a check, I speak with the other teachers. It isn’t hard to find out that these boys are doing minimal work in other classes, and I actually discover something worse about Larry. He has been finding ways to get other kids to do the work for him and then disseminating it among his friends. Other teachers have been threatened into lowering test percentages in their class, and guess what? He and his friends are enrolled in these classes.
Despite failing these tests, homework and project grades give them a comfortable cushion so that most of them are floating at low Bs. I can’t prove this (they are using Snapchat) but when I bring it up with their teachers, the teachers don’t feel like trying to prove it and duke it out with the parents. Now, they are gaming other classes for minimal effort.
However, their only recourse in my class is to keep rotating through groups and leeching off of their hard work to maintain Cs and Bs, and the other kids are too nervous to utilize the group contract to get them fired. Remember how I mentioned that I steadily increase the value of my assignments to keep kids working and give them a chance to fix their grades? Well, it was about to come due.
Me: *Random Day in Class* Hey everybody, I was looking in the schedule and realized that your last project before finals may stress you out unnecessarily. Would anybody mind if I dropped it? My class: *Tired of getting banged on Group Assignments* Nope, drop it, Best Teacher Ever! Me: Okay, well just so you know, I’m going to move our next project back a couple of weeks and extend the deadline by a week. Also, since I cancelled the last project, this means that the next project will now be worth roughly 20% of your final grade, so do your best. Screwing this up could ruin your grade.
My class: Whatever. So in one step, I have inflated this assignment and also moved it. I send out an email to parents and students letting them know about the change to the syllabus and the assignment. Get no responses other than happiness that I am removing stress from the end of the semester, etc. I actually did this primarily because another teacher (who was a huge jerk) plunked down a monster project that same week and I knew it would burn out my students prior to finals, so figured a break was in order.
Win-win for me, really. Now why did I move it? Well, there’s the rub. The Friday before the project started, I announced at the start of class, “Okay, I am introducing the project now so that you can get into groups today and we can do it first thing Monday morning without delay, since this project is so important.” This announcement elicits a room full of grins. Why? It was Senior Ditch Day.
Our school didn’t condone a ditch day, so the kids tried their best to keep it a secret, but I found out a month in advance. All seven of these kids were absent from class, which meant that I had just given the entire room freedom from these weights. Immediately, groups are formed, and even better, I had a couple kids transfer out of my class, which meant, numbers wise, these knuckleheads will have to work on this last group project together (in two groups).
I emphasized that everyone needed to get to class as soon as possible so that they could start as soon as attendance was called. My original intention was to light a giant fire under all seven of these chumps, to get them to actually put in the effort they had neglected to do all year. Most of them had grades in the low C range (except for one in the low Bs).
As a bonus to all my students, I put an extra credit portion on this project so that they could recoup their early semester losses, but also allow these seniors to do very well if they put in the effort. This wasn’t meant to be a revenge tale, but an attempt to give them one last lesson in responsibility. Before the end of the day, I send out a parent/student notification that the project had been started and that any absent students needed to contact their classmates to establish groups before Monday morning. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.
The next Monday, the seniors come traipsing in seconds before the bell to discover that there are only two tables to sit at. Whatever, they take their seats. Me: *After attendance* Okay, everybody has a copy of the rubric, so go ahead and get started. Rest of Class: *Immediately pulls out rubric* Seniors: *looking around frantically*
The seniors quickly realized that they have been played, and the arguing starts. First thing that happens is that Larry, Curly, and Moe decide that they now belong with whoever they happen to be sitting with and scoot their chairs over to sit with different tables. I catch this right away and tell them that the groups are already at maximum size (4 people per group).
The other four seniors are already fighting with each other because they know that none of them will actually do any work. Larry (who thinks he’s God’s gift to everybody) tries to sweet talk me and his group into special privileges and allowing a group of 5. Now, I see some of the other kids wavering and I know that Larry is putting pressure on them to argue his case.
I designed this project for specifically four people and had a job for each one, but I extended a separate offer. “I will let you join, but since there will be five of you, I expect double the work.” Literally, I told them they would have to do the project twice. Larry tries to argue, but I point out the roles I have established and inform him that if four people could do it once, having five should make it easier to do it twice.
Sounds like a jerk move on my part, but I have now intimidated the other kids into saying HECK NO and even have them put it to a vote. Unsurprisingly, Larry is the only one who votes that this is a good idea, and when the other kids catch wind of my offer, they physically shoo off the other seniors trying to pull this deal as well.
You will all be delighted to hear that the rest of the period for my seniors is spent arguing over who will work with who. They end up forming three groups and I nod my head, make sure they have the rubric, and then wish them the best of luck. Being the smart teacher that I am, I email Curly’s parents and Moe’s mommy that they have chosen to work with each other.
Moe’s mommy shows up to argue with me all the time, but has quickly learned I won’t take her baggage. At a previous meeting, she even laid into Moe and told him “I’m tired of fighting all these battles with your teachers and I’m starting to think that you’re the problem,” but I suspect this is for show. Curly’s parents email me back and say they will make sure Curly writes a group contract.
You see, Curly has sold himself as the best student ever, and clearly he will do the work and fire his classmates. Moe’s mommy immediately requests a meeting with me. Per school policy, I do not have to respond to an email for 48 hours. I wait until hour 47 and email a noncommittal, “I would love to meet, when are you available?” and wait for a response. I then wait another 48 hours to inform her of a time the following week that works for me.
Now, some of the other senior parents have emailed me angrily demanding why I let their kids choose to work with “the bad kids” again. I had to inform them that I didn’t expect all of them to be absent. Immediately, some of my seniors get burned at home because they ditched and their parents tell me “Just try to help them pass,” which I agree to.
Some of them need this class for graduation, after all. Moe’s mommy, on the other hand, shows up ready to wage battle. She starts by demanding that I put Moe in a different group. I decline, because the project has now been going on for a week and it wouldn’t be fair. She demands that I add him to another group. They’re all full and students have already done the lion’s share of the work.
She demands that I let him work by himself with an extension. I gladly offer him an extension and slide a copy of the rubric over to him…and he goes white. At this point, he knows that he is never planning to do any of the work. In fact, I know that his group hasn’t even started. I have a copy of their group contract, which was hastily scribbled in pencil with no due dates on it. He starts arguing with his mom that he would rather work with his friends and that he is upset that he got stuck in this situation.
Contemplating this, she accuses me of deliberately waiting until that day to screw the seniors over. After all, it was a school-sanctioned event and I’m being a jerk about it and she’ll go to the board with her story. Wrong. The joy I get from all of my prep work is shutting down stuff like this. All seven of the seniors hung out on ditch day at her house and told her that the principal had given them the day off.
Even better, they called in and pretended to be their own parents so that it was an excused absence. He is immediately busted and his mom flips her switch and jumps all over him. You see, she can keep pressing me on this issue, but I now have evidence that he pretended to be his own dad, and this is a suspendible offense. I buy myself into her graces by telling her that I had no idea that Senior Ditch Day was that Friday, but I gave her kid a free extension on the homework that was due because I thought seniors deserved their own traditions, blah blah blah. She buys it.
Also, I can prove that I emailed him (and her) and gave them plenty of notice before Monday morning that they needed to pick groups before something like this happened. Obviously, once I found out about Ditch Day I tried to give her precious treasure a heads up, but I don’t know why he didn’t take it. So she makes him open his email. When I saw it, I nearly burst into laughter.
My email is sitting there, unopened, and I have won this battle. She thanks me and takes him home. Class morale is now super high, unless you are one of the seniors. A week before the project is due, neither group has actually started and the H.M.S. Class Average is about to hit an Iceberg. Then the project comes due, oohhh boy.
It comes as no surprise that my enterprising seniors have turned in easily some of the worst work ever. One group got into a text argument the weekend before it was due and made one of the kids do all the work. Moe and Curly are in this group. The other group (with Larry) has also turned in a steaming pile. I make sure to grade these two projects first because I know the fallout is going to be big.
All the seniors dropped at least one letter grade. A couple drop two. This is four weeks before graduation. Larry appears to take his F minus in stride (they got something like a ten percent on it), so I know he’s plotting something. Curly’s parents demand a meeting and so does Moe’s mommy. Curly’s parents are super upset that they got a bad grade and demanded to know why.
What they didn’t know was that I had already met with the student who did the entire project (poorly) and his parents. I informed Curly’s parents that I had seen the text exchange between the seniors that pretty much ended up with “You freaking do it.” Curly refused to turn over his phone to his parents for confirmation. I also show them Curly’s project and hand over the rubric.
Mom and Dad are not happy. You see, Curly has been blaming everyone else for his mistakes since the dawn of time and his parents have bought in completely. Until today. Dad pointedly asks “Which part did you do?” and this causes Curly to spout actual tears. I then pull up a spreadsheet of all of the group project scores from the year and have highlighted his scores, which are among the worst.
The purpose of this was to use data to prove that their son, frankly, never does the work. Curly is absolutely destroyed by this. His parents kick him out of the conference because they are tired of his excuses and ask me what they can do. I tell them I would be happy to offer one-on-one tutoring and that he can still pass the class if he does his homework and gets a B on the next exam. They agree to this, we all shake hands, and they leave.
Curly’s story largely ends here. He never shows up to tutoring, and I email his parents. After three emails, his dad finally responds with, “His mom and I have decided that he needs to learn to be an adult and are leaving him to his own devices. Thank you for your efforts.” Curly will spend the rest of the semester doing little to no work.
Because he is grounded at home, he is now just watching YouTube videos on his phone during school. The ripple effect is glorious. Because now Curly is doing this in all of his classes. I speak with his teachers and they all email that he has quit doing work in class and get the same reply I did rather than the vehement responses they are used to.
When Curly fails his classes, he still graduates, but his parents have informed him that they are no longer paying for his college and it’s time to get a job. Moe’s mommy, however, flips her lid and demands answers. Unfortunately, Moe is in the same group as Curly and she gets the same answers from me. Strangely enough, once she’s exhausted every effort and attempt to somehow blame me for this, she admits that she knew Moe was part of threatening the lone senior and that he should be ashamed of himself.
She deliberately tried to play me but outed herself once she knew that I already knew everything. Super annoying, but I agree to help tutor him one-on-one too, which makes her happy. So Moe’s mommy is emailing me every few days now. “Is my son doing his work, did he get help with his homework, etc.” Non-stop, but she knows better than to fight with me. And then there was Larry.
Larry is unusually chipper, and is no longer doing his work. I find out that Larry is supposedly going to a college where he just needs to maintain his GPA over a super low number. He claims an F in my class won’t change anything, so I make sure he doesn’t distract the others. Moe shows up only occasionally, but strangely enough, Larry pops in “just to say hi” whenever Moe is getting help.
I can’t fathom why he does this, but suspect he is up to something and already have a backup plan in place. You see, Moe’s mommy is nuts, and I make sure that there’s always another person in the room with me when I tutor him. Anyway, Moe’s mommy is constantly checking in. I start waiting 48 hours between emails (cause I can) and she starts dropping by in person unannounced to check on him (me).
She’s been acting cagey lately and I’m starting to suspect something. It’s freaking Larry. Larry is a friend of Moe’s, so he’s been in her home feeding her made-up stories to convince her that I have been emotionally mistreating Moe when other students aren’t around. Stuff like I was calling him names after school, etc. and then telling her, “you can even have the school check the cameras to see that I’m there.”
This starts a whole thing where she is now demanding answers from admin. BUT! I’m smart. Admin asks me about details regarding my interactions with Moe and I end up sitting down with my Principal, Moe, and Moe’s mommy. She details that Moe is struggling, might not graduate, and that she believes that I have singled her kid out and wants his grade raised.
You see, Moe is dumb and lazy, and his mom is just as bad. When Larry went to her with his story, she never bothered talking about it with her own son. He just agreed and went along with it, so I asked Moe point blank to please describe what has been said during our sessions and then offer to leave the room so that he can tell the principal without me there.
She tells me to stay because she wants me to hear from her son what I’ve done to him. What neither of them knew was that I was a mentor teacher. That meant I had a first year teacher as my mentee and I had her working on grades and such in my room after school on the days I agreed to meet Moe. She was young, so Moe thought she was another student and never questioned it, and couldn’t even remember that she was in there.
My Principal already had statements from her detailing my interactions with Moe, and Moe was unable to give any actual details and suddenly forgot what had been said to him. This lands Moe’s mommy in hot water with admin, and she blames the whole thing on Larry and becomes visibly upset that she fell for such a stupid ruse. This results in an email cautioning teachers from being alone in a room with either student.
Suddenly, after school help evaporates for both, but hey, I always have someone in my room, so whatever. After that meeting, Larry is now suddenly super concerned about his grade. I rationalize that he was hoping to burn me out of my job and then use the fallout to get a free passing grade. Obviously it doesn’t work, so screw Larry.
I have kids who actually want to succeed. My free days are now on days I know he works, and he never shows up for tutoring anyway. Now that other teachers are hesitant to meet with him, he is unable to cut deals to raise those grades either. Moe’s mom makes a last ditch effort and tries to convince me that the parents of the seniors have scheduled a meeting with my boss to have me fired for giving their kids a bad grade and that she would be willing to put in a good word for me if I meet with her first.
I’m sitting next to the principal when I get this email, and he has no idea what she’s talking about. I tell her I’d be happy to meet everybody but that I would probably eat my lunch during such a meeting and that I hoped people didn’t mind the smell of fish. I got a “No, seriously, they are threatening to sue you,” but I had the perfect response. I feigned stupidity and informed her that I couldn’t be sued for eating fish during a meeting.
She now realizes I don’t care about anything and can’t be threatened. Again, there’s nothing she can do because I am simply following policy. The last few weeks are frantic for these seniors. One by one they fall, because they’ve done little to no work for a couple years now and they have no idea how to apply themselves. Other teachers are emboldened by how hard I shut them down and finally hold them accountable.
A few of them just barely manage Ds in my class, and the rest fail. I get a few last second squeaks of “What can I do to raise my grade?” but have now documented that none of them attempted the extra credit assignments and that was their chance. It’s hard for a parent to get angry at you when you can prove you actually tried to give their student extra credit, and can then prove they never opened the assignment online.
These guys are now failing some of their other classes, too. A couple have breakdowns in my class and leave crying. Their friendships are fracturing with each other because they now all hate each other for what happened (which they will get over during the summer). My last test came and I made it an online multiple choice test.
It was easy enough to have the questions and answers shuffled in random order, meaning they couldn’t cheat off each other. You see, I knew for a long time that they would sit next to each other to try and cheat on the exam, and Larry had blown a ton of money on a tutor to try and carry his friends. This throws them all off, and when Moe’s mommy accuses me (again) of trying to trick her kid with a much harder test, it was easy enough to shoo her away with a simple email.
Larry passes the exam, but his grade moves up to a meager D minus. Here are the final results. Of these seven seniors, one didn’t graduate and had to transfer schools. His parents were embarrassed that they paid to fly the whole family out for a graduation that he didn’t get to take part in. Two of the seniors lost all of their scholarships and could no longer attend the schools they wanted.
Their fallback plan was to attend the same school together and become roommates, which they did with three of the other seniors, including Moe. Larry’s college was not happy with his final GPA. I’m not sure what his long game was, but it sucked. The college kicked him out before he could even start, and I found out his huge web of lies extended to his parents too.
He toured Europe over the summer and tried to surprise his parents by coming home instead of going to school. Apparently, they kicked him out immediately after because they were selling their house to get a condo somewhere else (remember, they travel for work all the time now so wanted to downgrade). Last I heard, he made up a story that he joined the armed forces but got released due to sickness.
Curly’s parents relented and decided to pay for Curly to go to college after all. Curly got kicked out halfway through the year (he got busted more than once for underage consumption) and then they kicked him to the curb after living at home for a year and refusing to get a job. Last I heard, he works in a vape shop. Moe went to school and used his book smarts to try and pay other kids to do his work for him, since his mommy is rich.
When that failed, he faked his grades to get his mom to keep footing the bill. Eventually, the school kicked him out and he moved back home. The story his mommy told a friend of hers (who I ran into at a school function) was that he decided that he would rather be an entrepreneur than go to college and that he bought a drone to film weddings with.
Last I heard, he was acting as a distributor for his weed dealer but had moved up to selling acid on the side. His mommy thinks he is working weddings. But there was one happy ending. One senior went to college with his friends and immediately realized he needed to change. He quit hanging with his friends and, last I heard, graduated with honors in a lucrative field.
He emailed me once to thank me for challenging him in high school, because it prepared him for college, so that was nice.
37. Playing The Long Game
In the late 90s, my wife and I were just married, just getting started, and we decided to DINK (“double income, no kids”) it for a few years to save up for a down payment on a house. The dotcom bubble was still rising and I was a newly minted software developer. I had an entry-level job for a while and then got recruited to a new city and a new job that paid three times what I was making before.
It was an offer too good to pass up. I ran the numbers and it was a no-brainer: By living frugally and saving my entire salary, living off just her income, we would easily have enough in a year to put a 20% down payment on a new house. We rented an apartment in the new city that was listed for $950/month. The landlord was a real estate agent who owned a two-bedroom condo as an investment property.
Let’s call him “Hank Wazowski.” Hank was a thin, gray, no-nonsense guy. He was pleasant enough, but perfunctory, dry, and had no sense of humor. He made a point of explaining that under no circumstances was he responsible for maintaining the garbage disposal and that it was NOT included in the rental agreement and he would not be responsible for fixing it if it were it to break. Um, ok.
He seemed slightly amused by us, a clueless, young, newlywed couple, but I could tell he wanted to rent to us because we were very obviously a safe choice as renters. We filled out the rental agreement and the credit check, and this is where my troubles began. Hank looked hard at the credit application where I listed my job title, “Software Developer,” and my income, $75k.
For a 23-year-old in his second year out of college, in the late 1990s, this is a small fortune. Throw in my wife’s salary and we were over six figures in income, renting an apartment far beneath our means. Like I said, DINK is the way to go when starting out. “I can’t believe how much money you make,” Hank must have said half a dozen times, muttering under his breath.
I explained we were saving to buy a house and that we were only going to stay in the apartment a year. “We might stay a few months after the term is over, would month-to-month be ok after a year?” Hank assured us that would be fine. We saw Hank only once during the year and he again mentioned my salary and how he couldn’t believe that’s what software developers were making.
It was awkward and I gave a vague reply. Anyway, a year later we had found a house to buy, signed all the papers, and were making plans to move. The new house wasn’t going to be ready until two months after our rental lease was up, so I called Hank to ask if we could, as discussed, simply extend the lease by two months before moving out.
Hank assured me on the phone it would be no problem and he would send over an extension for us to sign. The extension arrived in the mail. When I read it, my heart stopped. It included a month-to-month clause and a $500 increase in the rent. I flipped out and called him. “Hank, why are you increasing the rent over 50%? That’s too much! That’s more than my new mortgage is going to be!”
He was super condescending to me, “It’s what the apartment goes for now. I would be losing money by renting it for less.” I tried to reason with him, but it was very clear he knew we could afford the $500, had no choice in the matter, and he was going to screw us over as best he could. He got angry with me for arguing my point, and I’ll never forget his parting words: “You don’t have to like it, you just have to pay it.”
My wife and I tried to figure out a way to move out early by putting our furniture in storage for a couple months and crashing with friends, but it just wasn’t going to work out. I swallowed my pride and wrote out the check for $1,450 for the extra month. A month later, I wrote a similar check, and then we moved out. I made sure the apartment was spotless before moving, but still Hank withheld $300 from our security deposit for stupid things that were just a way for him to squeeze a few more dollars from the kids who made too much money.
$100 for cleaning, sure? But $300 was obscene. In my mind, he had screwed me over for $1200 and there was nothing I could do about it. What made it even more infuriating is that I saw the ad Hank put in the paper after we moved out and he listed the apartment for rent at only $150 more than we had been paying originally, not the grossly-inflated $500 increase.
And it didn’t rent. A month later, I saw the same ad and he had lowered the price to $75 more than we had been paying, and I assume it got rented since the ads stopped appearing. Fast-forward about five years. Life is good, the house is good, we have a baby, and even though the dotcom bubble has burst, I’m still employed. One day, out of the blue, I overhear one of my co-workers, Phil, a senior developer, talking to the guy working the reception desk.
“Hey, Mike, I’m expecting someone to drop off some paperwork for me. If a Hank Wazowski asks for me, tell him I’ll be right out.” I freeze and get a taste of bile in my mouth. I’m remembering how I had to write out that name on those checks all those years ago. There’s no way it’s the same guy, right? I walk over to Phil, who is still by the reception desk.
“Phil,” I say, “How do you know that name, Hank Wazowski?” Phil explains that Hank is his real estate agent. “I bought my condo through him several years ago. I’m selling my condo now so I can buy a house. So I’m going to ask him to be my agent again. Do you know him?” I tell Phil that I used to rent an apartment from Hank and described what he looks like.
Phil confirms the description: It’s the same guy, wow small world, right? And on cue, right then the front door to the office opens and in walks Hank Wazowski. I stare in disbelief. He’s carrying a folder of papers and doesn’t recognize me. Phil and Hank shake hands and they talk for a few moments. I stand there silently, wondering what to do.
Phil finally says, “Hank, this is my friend. I think you may have already met?” “Yes, hello Hank. Good to see you again. My wife and I were your tenants a few years ago. Remember, the software developer who rented for a year saving to buy a house? Well, this is where I work. Here. With Phil.” Hanks eyes indicate he now remembers me, and he’s starting to put it all together.
We shake hands and he says yes, of course he remembers and asks how we are doing. “Oh we’re just fine, thanks for asking. Phil says that you’re his real estate agent. Small world, isn’t it?” Hanks nods pleasantly. He still doesn’t remember the details of our last conversation. I do some quick math in my head. This is the early/mid 2000s, the real estate market is very strong and easy money for any agent.
The crash of 2008 is still a few years in the future. I start to think out loud. “Selling the condo for around $150 to 200 thousand, and you’re looking at houses in the $500 thousand range, so that’s $650 to 700 thousand in total transactions. An agent getting 3% on the sale AND the purchase is getting around $20k for his trouble. That’s a good commission for the agent, isn’t it?”
Hanks eyes flash and I can tell he remembers everything about me now. Phil is surprised at my passive-aggressive tone. I am enjoying the uncomfortable silence. Hank deflects my question, saying it’s complicated, and tells Phil to send back the papers as soon as possible. He shakes hands with Phil, looks at me, nods, and goes to leave. “It was really good to see you again, Hank.” I call behind him.
He exits the building. As the door is still shutting, I say a bit too loudly, so that Hank can hear, “Phil, don’t sign anything just yet, I have a story to tell you.” Phil looks at me and says, “What the heck was that all about?!” He looks angry and confused at my behavior. I tell Phil the whole story, the rent, the $500 increase, the security deposit, “you don’t have to like it, you just have to pay it,” everything.
“Phil, you can’t use this guy to sell your condo and buy a house. I hate him. He’s evil. I’ll help you find another real estate agent, just use ANYONE BUT HANK!” So the great thing about Phil is that, well, he’s a great guy. He says he’s a little surprised at my story and has always known Hank as a straightforward guy. “But I totally see him doing that to you,” he admits.
“There’s no way I could use him now. What a jerk!” Then Phil’s eyes lit up a bit. “What do you want me to say when I fire him?” (I have special feelings for Phil now.) We came up with a plan and I made sure there were some key phrases in Phil’s repertoire. We planned it all out together in advance. My only regret is that I didn’t get to see Hank’s reaction in person a day later when Phil made the following phone call while I stood behind him listening:
“Hi, Hank? It’s Phil calling. Yeah, about that. I’ve decided to get some other quotes from other agents. I’m not going to sign up with you … [pause] “No no, you shouldn’t give a discount. You’d be losing money if you did that . . . [pause] “No, this is just a decision I’ve made . . . no, it has nothing to do with anyone else . . . [pause]
“Well, you don’t have to like it, Hank. You just have to accept it. Good bye.” CLICK And it was the greatest revenge I could have ever imagined: Through a chance meeting years later, Hank got screwed out of 20 thousand dollars in easy commissions. And the best part is Hank absolutely KNEW it had EVERYTHING to do with me!
38. You Go, Grandma
My grandmother was a member of a large conservative “Bible Believing” church for her entire adult life. This church, which I’ll call BigWhiteChurch, was a member of a large Evangelical denomination. BigWhiteChurch was located in a prosperous suburb of a large city in the Bible Belt of the Deep South of the USA. Grandma was very active in BigWhiteChurch.
She worked in the nursery every Sunday morning, helped cook hundreds of church fellowship breakfasts and dinners, accompanied her children and grandchildren on dozens of church retreats and choir tours, taught Youth Bible Study on Sunday nights and was very active in supporting Home Missions, as well as helping with other youth programs.
She always tithed, and often gave extra for missions and special offerings. Grandma’s greatest talent was making other people feel important. I’ve seen this firsthand many times. Although I belonged to a different church, I often visited with Grandma, and when I did, I usually went to BigWhiteChurch functions with her. I’ve seen her single-handedly cook breakfast for dozens of BigWhiteChurch Youth, a task that took over two hours, even in the church’s large kitchen.
Then, after the meal, she asked the group for a round of applause for the high school student leader for, “Doing such a great job of organizing the Prayer Breakfast.” I remember that, on a BigWhiteChurch youth retreat at a rural Church Camp, she drove most of the night to go back to the city and retrieve a big box of evangelistic materials that one of the Assistant Pastors (whom I’ll call JerkPastor) had forgotten and asked her to get, in time for our morning program the next day.
His boss, the Senior Pastor (I’ll call him PompousPastor), never found out that JerkPastor had screwed up or that Grandma had fixed it for him. JerkPastor never even thanked Grandma. Even though I was a child, this bothered me so much that I asked her about it. Her reply broke my heart. She said that she didn’t mind at all; she told me her reward would be that those materials “Would help children find Jesus”.
Grandma’s service to her church ended abruptly at the age of 73, when she broke her back in a car accident. Afterwards, for the last 10 years of her life, she was homebound and could not go to church because of this injury and declining health due to old age. Her mind was just as sharp as ever, and her faith remained sincere, but her body wore out a little more every day.
During those 10 years, she made many efforts to reach out to her church, its leadership and her church friends, inviting them to visit her at her home, etc., without success. Every one of these invitations was declined or simply ignored. Near the end, when she was in home hospice care, she decided to plan her own funeral. She and my Grandpa called her church and asked for the Senior Pastor, PompousPastor, whom she had known for over 30 years, to visit her so that they could plan her memorial service, which she and Grandpa wanted to be held at the church.
PompousPastor was too busy, but JerkPastor stopped by a few days later. According to my Grandpa, here’s what happened at that meeting, with my Grandma literally on her deathbed: Grandma, Grandpa and JerkPastor discussed her funeral for a couple of minutes. Then JerkPastor started pressuring her to, “Lay up your treasure in Heaven” by “Remembering your church in your will”.
Grandpa told him firmly that, “This is neither the time nor the place to discuss her will.” They went back to discussing the funeral for a few minutes. Then JerkPastor steered the conversation back to Grandma’s will, with liberal injections of how badly “her” church needed “her support.” Grandpa told him several times that it was inappropriate to talk to Grandma about her will or the church’s financial needs, because she was terminally ill and in an enormous amount of physical pain.
JerkPastor would agree and briefly talk about the funeral, but would then go back to talking about the church’s financial needs, heavenly rewards, “Where your treasure is your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34), etc. My Grandma started crying. To put this into context, Grandma was more than a “Steel Magnolia.” She was “Titanium Coated With Diamond Wrapped In Kevlar.”
She rarely ever cried, and never EVER cried about herself. Not one tear when the doctor told her that her back was broken so badly that she would never walk again, nor during the following six months in futile rehab. She would shed sincere but well-managed tears at funerals and while visiting family members in the hospital when they received bad news.
She would cry to console others, “Weep with those who weep.” But nobody—not Grandpa, not her daughter (my mom), nor any of my uncles or Grandma’s siblings—ever remembered her crying for herself. My Grandma was sobbing uncontrollably. Grandpa, a retired steelworker, former Marine Sergeant and Korean combat veteran, physically grabbed JerkPastor and “escorted” him out of their house, not too gently.
Contrary to everyone’s expectations, Grandma lived another six months, mostly because of sheer force of will. Eventually, though, Grandma passed and we held her memorial service at the funeral home, not BigWhiteChurch. PompousPastor and JerkPastor were conspicuously absent. In fact, there were no “Professional Christians” from BigWhiteChurch at the service at all, not even in the audience.
To start the service, Grandpa stood up at the podium in front of the crowd and said, “Some of you may have heard that I dis-invited PompousPastor and JerkPastor from this funeral service. This service is not an appropriate place for me to give you my reasons for doing this, although you all know me and so you know that my reasons are good ones. Also, my wife asked me to exclude them.”
“This funeral service may be different from other funerals that you have attended. It is going to be an ‘open microphone’ funeral. Everyone who wants to say something is invited to come up here and describe your friendship with my wife, tell a story about her that is worth remembering, or anything else that you want to say that will honor her memory and bring comfort to everyone here today. I have asked several family members to prepare statements, but you don’t have to have anything prepared. Please, if you want to say something, come up here and do so.”
There were about a hundred people at the funeral service; at least a third of them eventually stepped up to the microphone. The service, which we had planned to last about 30 minutes, lasted for over two hours and, as best I can tell, not one person left early. There was laughing, crying and hugging, three of her grandchildren played some of her favorite songs on the piano and guitar, and we all joined hands and sang her favorite hymns.
Afterwards, dozens of people told my Grandpa that it was one of the most comforting and uplifting funerals they had ever attended. More than a few remarked that, “Funerals are better without preachers anyway” or something similar. But the thing is, my grandma also had a great revenge from beyond the grave. A couple of weeks later, it was time to start distributing the bequests in Grandma’s will.
Although Grandma and Grandpa dearly loved each other, they had separate wills because, she told my Mom, “That makes it easier for us to respect each other’s turf” and because their lawyer had recommended it. Nobody thought that my grandparents were wealthy. They had lived in the same small but charming house in a prosperous, well-maintained suburban neighborhood for the past 50+ years, and had worked hard and lived modestly.
But it was rumored that they had a very nice nest egg. Of course, there is no requirement for anyone to attend “The Reading Of The Will” or to even have a “Reading.” Modern telecommunications and near-universal literacy have made this quaint custom practically extinct. But “The Reading Of The Will” was a tradition in our family because it was one of those events that gave our close-knit, extended family an excuse to get together.
We never had “Family Reunions.” They were too difficult to schedule for our large family. But we got together at birthdays, holidays, funerals, baptisms, etc., so that if you attended several of these, you would see just about every one of your cousins, aunts, uncles, and even great aunts and uncles who were Grandma’s and Grandpa’s siblings and in-laws.
With this family tradition in mind, many of our family members’ wills often contained very personal bequests of items that had little cash value, but were the departed family member’s way of telling their loved ones that they wanted to share a cherished memory with them one last time. As an added incentive to attend, the family rumor mill had been buzzing with speculation, encouraged by Grandpa, that Grandma’s will contained some “surprises.” And oh, there were surprises aplenty.
The “Reading” was held in a conference room at a lawyer’s office. The attendees included my mom, as well as aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles and many of the grandchildren. We were all surprised, however, to see PompousPastor and JerkPastor from BigWhiteChurch. They informed us that Grandma’s lawyer had told them that Grandma’s will had bequests not only for BigWhiteChurch, but also for them personally.
Maybe it was just our imagination, but my siblings, cousins, and I couldn’t help noticing that these preachers appeared to be actively salivating over their good fortune at Grandma’s generosity. Grandma had a large family, so a sizeable number of beneficiaries were named in her will. The lawyer’s conference room was a bit smaller than an average middle-class living room.
Extra chairs had been brought in, every seat was filled and people were standing in every remaining space. There was barely space for all of us. Grandma’s lawyer suggested that PompousPastor and JerkPastor sit in chairs that were in the front of the room, next to himself. Since there was a large table in the room, this meant that the lawyer and these two preachers were the only ones who were directly facing everyone else.
Although the preachers were gratified to be physically next to the center of attention, they did not notice, as all of the rest of us quickly noticed, that these seats made it easy for everyone else in the room to watch them closely, and practically impossible for them to leave the packed-to-more-than-overflowing room before the entire meeting was over, because they were farthest from the room’s single door, and there were almost two dozen people standing or sitting between them and their only path to escape.
The bequests were quite generous, but pretty much what we had expected. Grandpa kept their house, its contents, their retirement accounts and everything that remained after all of the bequests had been satisfied. Children, grandchildren and several local charities received nice, but not extravagant, amounts of money. Several sentimental items were named and given to various friends and relatives.
Grandpa was first beneficiary listed in the will. But, after him, all of the other bequests were arranged in order of increasing worth. They started with sentimental items, which had very small cash value. Then each grandchild received several thousand dollars, then each son, daughter, brother, sister, niece and nephew received a little more, then several local non-profits received very nice amounts, etc.
Bequests to BigWhiteChurch, PompousPastor and JerkPastor were (almost) the last ones listed in the will. They listened politely to the other bequests, but with steadily growing anticipation, as they noticed the exponential upward trend in Grandma’s largess. When Grandma’s lawyer got to the BigWhiteChurch and preachers’ part of the will, he said, “This is a bit unusual, but before I announce these bequests to BigWhiteChurch, PompousPastor and JerkPastor, Ms [Grandma’s name] requested that I read the following statement to everyone present.”
He opened a letter that was written in Grandma’s own handwriting. It shocked the room into silence. “For the past 10 years, NOT ONE person from BigWhiteChurch has ever called me, come to visit me, or sent me a note to tell me that they cared about me. Not one minister, not one deacon, not one of the church women, not one of the church members who I worked with for all of those years, loved dearly and thought were my friends. I worked very hard for you when you needed me, for many, many years. But when I needed you and your church, you all pretended that I didn’t exist.”
“I only got one visit. When I was dying and I invited PompousPastor to come to my house and help me plan my funeral. This was my last attempt, after many attempts that I had made over the past 10 years, to reach out to my church and pastor, whom I still loved dearly even though they had made it clear that they did not love me. If only I could have my funeral at my church, maybe some of my church friends, whom I had not seen in a decade, would come to the service to see me one last time.
And I know they loved to hear PompousPastor preach, so if he preached at my funeral, maybe they would come to my funeral to hear him, even if they would not have come to see me. But PompousPastor couldn’t find the time to visit me, or even call me to tell me whether or not he was willing to preach at my funeral. JerkPastor came by my house, but he didn’t want to talk about my funeral. He just wanted me to, ‘Remember his church in my will.’
That’s all. Just, ‘Remember his church in my will.’ It was then that I realized that I had allowed my church to break my heart for one last time. But that was the last time. The VERY last time. JerkPastor did not know it when he visited me, but Grandpa and I had already prepared my will, long before his visit, which did include a double tithe. TWENTY PERCENT of my ENTIRE ESTATE, for what was now my former … FORMER … church … BigWhiteChurch.
This amount was [named the amount—an enormous load of money generating muffled ‘wows’ from many of her heirs, including me]. But I got to feeling badly that we had not personally remembered such nice people as PompousPastor and JerkPastor. So I changed my will to include them by name. While I was at it, I changed the amount of money that I left to BigWhiteChurch to match all of the love that they have showed to me during the last 10 years of my life, when I was suffering and lonely, and no longer able to work for them, for free, like I had done for almost half a century.”
“That is her entire written statement,” the lawyer said. “Now let’s get back to the bequests in the will.” “Bequest to JerkPastor: One Cent.” “Bequest to PompousPastor: One Cent.” “Bequest to BigWhiteChurch: One Cent.” The PompousPastor and JerkPastor sat there looking like someone had just injected a gallon of novocaine into their jaws.
Every one of Grandma’s family and friends felt an overwhelming urge to laugh out loud. But we kept quiet because we knew Grandma. We knew she wasn’t finished yet. Grandma was simply setting them up for a one-two punch. The best was yet to come, and we didn’t want to miss it. “There is one last bequest,” the lawyer continued, “For a charity called …” which he named and I’ll call “BlackCharity,” then he paused before naming the amount.
Most of us had no idea what BlackCharity was. But, by the looks on their faces, we could tell that PompousPastor and JerkPastor knew BlackCharity very well. Their faces displayed the same expressions of shock, dread, and horror that they would have if the lawyer had said, “This bequest goes to The Demonic Baby Eaters to buy extra large rotisserie barbecue grills and tons of charcoal.”
Every eye in the room was now fixated on PompousPastor and JerkPastor. The lawyer, who happened to be my uncle, one of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s sons, let the silence continue a few seconds more….If we had been able to read PompousPastor’s and JerkPastor’s minds, we would have known the history behind the looks on their faces.
BlackCharity was sponsored by a large Black church just a few miles from BigWhiteChurch. They ran a free food/clothing bank, assistance programs for foster children, home delivery of pre-cooked meals for homebound seniors, and other social services. A long time ago, BigWhiteChurch, which was (and still is) 100% Caucasian, had provided a few years of financial and other support to BlackCharity.
Then there was a very bitter, acrimonious breakup, allegedly because BlackCharity was practicing “The Social Gospel” while BigWhiteChurch was preaching “The True Gospel.” BigWhiteChurch even sued to try to get some of their money back, although the suit was eventually settled and very little money actually changed hands. But, this being The Deep South, everyone knew the real reason why BigWhiteChurch, or any white church, would stop supporting a Black charity:
“They were getting uppity and not staying in their place.” Grandma and Grandpa had seriously considered leaving BigWhiteChurch at that time. But they had reasoned that it was better to stay there and teach tolerance by their words and example. They knew they would never persuade everyone, but maybe they could reach some of the youth at their white church and break the generational cycle.
Grandma used to tell us, “My church is my Mission Field.” We did not learn the true depth of her statement until after she passed. Since then, Grandma and Grandpa had secretly sent a portion of their “Tithe” to BlackCharity every month. Most of Grandma’s family, including me, didn’t find out about any of this until after the meeting had ended.
But PompousPastor and JerkPastor obviously understood what Grandma, by her actions which are more powerful than words, was saying to them. If you had grown up as a white person in the Deep South, as Grandma, Grandpa, PompousPastor and JerkPastor had, you would understand. To many white Southerners, this was one of the most personally insulting things you could do to them.
It simultaneously labeled them as racists, condemned them, and crushed their delusions of white superiority by saying, “These Black human beings, whom you hate, disrespect and have mistreated, are better people than you are. So they deserve my money more than you do”. Having allowed time for everyone to observe PompousPastor and JerkPastor while they thought about how their white church had treated this Black charity, and how they AND their church had treated our Grandma…
The lawyer said, “The amount is….” Then he named the EXACT SAME AMOUNT that Grandma had named in her handwritten letter, the huge amount of money that would have gone to BigWhiteChurch if she had not changed her will.
39. Pencil Me In
When I was hired for the job where I currently work, I was hired to work on Tuesday through Saturday from 2 pm to 10 pm. This had been my schedule for months, never changing. I was verbally told that this was my set schedule, and I even clarified this because I had to arrange for childcare. For example, one week I was accidentally left off the schedule entirely and was told to just work my normal schedule.
Around Thanksgiving time, we closed down for a week. The company policy is that you have to work your last scheduled shift before the break and your first scheduled shift after in order to get your holiday pay. On the Monday following Thanksgiving (remember I’m normally off on Mondays), I got a call saying I was scheduled to work and that because I didn’t come in, I wouldn’t get my holiday pay.
This kind of ticked me off because I had been told I would work Tuesday-Saturday and thus had only arranged childcare those days, so I couldn’t even come in that day if I wanted to. The exact phrase I was told over the phone was, “It is your responsibility to check the schedule every week because we don’t have set schedules.”
Fast forward to this week. While checking the schedule, I noticed that my schedule is the same as normal with the exception that I am off the schedule on Saturday. So, I decided to not look a gift horse in the mouth and just take the three-day weekend and don’t mention to my boss that she left me off. So Saturday (which I normally would work), I don’t go in since I’m not scheduled.
I got a call from work and didn’t answer, and they didn’t leave a voicemail. Then I receive a text from my boss saying that my schedule “never changes” and it will be a no call/no show on my attendance record for not coming in to work. I reply that I am not on the schedule and so I’m not required to come in, as it is my responsibility to check the schedule every week because we don’t have set schedules.
I received no further reply and am looking forward to seeing how work goes on Tuesday. I also took a picture of the schedule to make sure that I can prove I was off on the schedule in case my boss tries to write me up. By the way, I do have a new job lined up and am just waiting for my start date before I quit this one.
40. Lost In Translation
I am a light-skinned Latina American and I lived in Korea for a couple of years during university and grad school, as my major was Korean Interpretation and Translation. During my time in Korea, I was lucky enough to attend music shows from time to time. For the K-pop uninitiated, music shows are free to enter, provided you have at least one of three items.
They would be: A) a copy of the album of the group you’re coming to see, B) proof of purchase of the album digitally on one of the approved music vendors in Korea, or C) the official lightstick from the most recent concert. Priority entry was always given to official fan club members who had all three, then fan club members who had two of the three, and then fan club members who had one. After that came non-members in the same priority tier.
The group I had come to see hadn’t opened official fan club registration in almost a decade, so the group’s management decided to do away with the fan club priority and did it on a first-come, first-serve basis, but kept the whole three items go first, then two then one thing. I had all three and I got there early, so I got a good spot in line.
These queues often had us waiting outside for hours while the previous round of filming finished up. The thing about these music show venues is, they’re very small. They have limited capacity and allow two-three groups’ fans in to watch them film at a time, so not all people who queue for a group get in. In this particular instance, there was trouble with foreign fans causing trouble by taking pictures, not listening to instructions, etc.
So the venue staff literally went through and QUIZZED each foreigner in line on their Korean. If you couldn’t understand, you were booted. I passed with flying colors and kept my spot in line. Here’s where the revenge starts. Because of the aforementioned issues, a lot of Korean fans HATED international fans with a passion.
For this group in particular so many people were VERY ANGRY that they had to wait in line behind foreigners because they’d done away with the official fan club priority. Now here’s me, sitting alone in a queue outside on a hot summer day. A group of Korean girls sat in front of me, and a lone Korean girl talking on her phone sat behind me.
I was minding my own business, playing games on my phone after passing my Korean quiz with the staff, when I heard the girl behind me talking trash. She was chatting with a friend I suspect because she was dropping a lot of curse words, and specifically mentioned “these foreign roaches ruining things for us. I want to kill them.”
She mentioned me in particular and said that she bet I’d paid the staff to keep my spot in line even though I couldn’t understand Korean. Okay so. It’s harmless trash talk, I don’t know this girl and I don’t know her friend. In the long run, it doesn’t affect me, right? But it really rubbed me the wrong way, especially because she was talking quite loudly.
So I grabbed my wallet, politely and quietly asked the Korean girls in front of me to watch my bag and hold my place in line, and went to the convenience store. I bought a round of water for everyone. It was heavy. I had about a dozen bottles of water. I get back to my spot in line, thank the girls in front of me for holding my spot, then gave them each a water.
I gave water to the group in front of them, too. Then I kept one for myself and turned around and handed one to the girl on the phone with a smile. Immediately she lit up and thanked me in English, smiling bright and taking her phone away from her ear. As I hand her the water, I say in perfect Korean and still smiling, “The next time you loudly trash talk the foreigners, make sure they can’t actually understand you.”
When I tell you it went silent in the immediate area, you could hear a pin drop. Her smile melted off her face faster than an ice cream cone on Florida pavement. She turned beet red and muttered to her friend on the phone that she had to go and sheepishly apologized. I accepted, she had water, and I felt better about myself. Bonus: The girls in front of me heard the whole thing and adopted me into their group for the day. Fun was had all around.
41. Just Desserts
I’ve been enrolled in a cooking school for over a year and my mom has never been supportive, mostly because I dropped out of a nursing program to get into this cooking school. She’s always making snide comments about how I should’ve been a nurse or a lawyer, or how I’ll only ever be a subservient housewife with this profession.
When I do make something, she always criticizes it. Like she’s Gordon Ramsay or something: “Oh, too much salt.” “It’s undercooked.” “It looks disgusting.” Even though pretty much everyone else says the opposite. She’s looking for any little thing she can critique about my cooking. She keeps telling me I can’t cook and need to get into a real career.
I’ve cooked three-course dinners for the family and they always get positive reviews, except for her. She had a party for her work friends, I made a whole tray of my specialty take on homemade meatballs. It’s a recipe I conceptualized myself, and my signature dish. Everyone kept going back and getting more, so many that they ran out.
I asked mom what she thought, and she said, “They were drinking, they couldn’t taste anything.” So I figured if I wanted to get her to compliment my cooking, I’d have to trick her. I cooked her a meal, one of her favorites from scratch, which was her biggest weakness that she can never resist. I dressed it up to look professional and put it in a generic To-Go Box and had my boyfriend take a video of me preparing it, start to finish.
I called her and told her that my boyfriend and I were eating at this diner (that doesn’t exist), and made up a fake name for it and everything. I told her they had her favorite meal and asked if she wanted us to bring her one. Of course, she said yes. I brought the dish and told her more about the fake diner. She started eating it and complimented how good it was.
She even said how she wanted to go to the diner and get another one. After she was almost through with the meal, I asked her for her honest opinions, so we could write a review on Yelp. She went on for 10 minutes about how great it was, and then I sprung it on her. I had cooked it. Her tone changed. She put the fork down and said she was lying, that it tasted like garbage.
My boyfriend showed her the video, and she googled the restaurant and it didn’t show up. She then started pointing out flaws with the meal, like how there was too much sauce and it was really spicy and burned her mouth. I asked her why she almost finished the whole thing if it was so spicy. She didn’t say anything, so I just asked her if she was ready to admit it.
She said no, so we left, but I spotted her eating it from the other room. I asked her again and she laughed and finally told me yes, that I’m a good chef. So, after a year of doubting I was a good chef and holding my dreams back, she finally admitted it.
42. Little Light Lie
Some years ago, we had some new neighbors move in next door. Nice enough people, but we had a problem with them. The husband traveled a lot and his wife was afraid of just about everything—the dark, thunderstorms, you name it. The problem was the floodlights over their garage doors. She would leave them on all night, every night, even though you couldn’t see them from inside of their house.
They were positioned such that they would shine into our bedroom at night. We were not able to block them effectively with our curtains. We asked them politely several times if they could turn them off at night since they served no effective purpose. They adamantly refused. I offered to pay for a timer that would control them.
No way they would consider it. I thought about taking the bulbs out, shooting them out with my pellet gun, etc. The solution that I arrived at was to simply loosen them up enough that they wouldn’t come on. Since they couldn’t see them from inside the house, it was about five-six months before they realized that they were not working. They screwed them back in. I waited a couple of weeks and unscrewed them again.
Another few months went by. Finally, one day, my neighbor asked me if I ever had any trouble with my outdoor lights. I told him yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I said that they would loosen up occasionally and I would have to retighten them. I blamed it on vibration from the traffic on our street. He said that he had the same problem.
I told him that I finally just gave up and left them off. He eventually did the same. We were happy with the final outcome and we were able to keep pace in the neighborhood.
43. Just A Tip
A couple of months back, my boyfriend and I went out for drinks one night at this cool little “speakeasy” in Montreal. It’s actually quite an interesting place. You come in through a nondescript entrance and the place has a really nice vibe going on once you get inside. Note: this is one of those bars where the server comes to your table and serves the drinks rather than one where you order at the bar and take the drinks back yourself.
The server seated us at our table, and we ordered a couple of cocktails. And then a couple more, and then a couple more after that. Each time we had to order, my boyfriend or I would have to go fetch the server so he would take our order or go up to the bar, order, and then bring the drinks back ourselves. Then, when it came time for the bill, I went up again so he would come to our table.
The server came and thought we were going to order again despite me clearly asking for the bill when I went up. So, he went back to get the card machine and it was another 10 minutes before he was back. At this point, I was quite ticked off at the not-so-great service and was debating whether or not I should tip him. The screen had an option for 10%, 15%, 20% or “other.”
I decided to just leave 10% as I wanted to avoid an argument with the server. Montreal service employees are pretty darn notorious when it comes to the expectation of tips. Now, he prints out the receipt, takes a look at it, and sees I left 10%. He then asks if we had a nice evening, to which my boyfriend responded that we did.
We both thought it was just a standard question servers ask, so we didn’t bother telling him about the poor service we received—especially because it wouldn’t really make a difference at this point. The guy then says, “Oh, well if you had such a nice time, then you should’ve left at least a 15% tip. Because, in Canada, it’s customary to leave a minimum 15% when the service is good.”
I’m guessing the reason he felt the need to outline that’s how it is in Canada is because I’m a brown guy. Now comes the petty part. I responded, “Oh I didn’t know, why don’t you cancel this bill and redo it so I can tip you properly?” He said, “Sure thing, just give me a second because the manager has to approve bill cancellations.”
Again, we waited a good 10 minutes for him to come back with the new bill. I was happy to wait, though, because once he came back, I put in the PIN and then selected the “other” option for the tip and left him 0%. He printed out the receipt and his look of disbelief was well worth it. We got up and my (white Canadian) boyfriend said, “Our only tip for you is to give better service and not be so much of a jerk. In Canada, we don’t really like jerks.”
44. Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
My old college roommate didn’t know how to cook or do dishes and didn’t go food shopping much. This led to him eating my food, especially my leftovers as those were prepared meals. Now, I would use my leftovers to meal prep for the week and told him to stop as it was expensive as well as inconvenient. The behavior did not stop and he actually seemed to be eating more of my food out of spite.
To punish him, I baked a chocolate cake with habanero peppers and mixed the frosting with wasabi. I labeled it with my name and a bold “Do Not Eat” and waited. This guy has a very low tolerance for spicy foods, so I thought he would take one bite and quickly realize the error of his ways. About two days later, him and a couple of his friends got to drinking while I was at work and decided to dig into my food.
Somehow, they ate about a third of it before realizing it, and when they inevitably went to throw up from over drinking and eating spicy foods, the cake hit them a second time. I don’t know for sure, but it couldn’t have felt good coming out the backend either. When he asked me why I made this monstrosity, I told him I found a chocolate habanero recipe online that I wanted to try. He stopped eating my cooking after that.
45. Two Green Thumbs Down
Now, we all like the occasional garden party with noise. However, my neighbor seems to be “an entertainer.” That is, every weekend evening they like to host a party, often in the garden, and have friends and several families with kids over. This family and their guests, rather than having civilized discussions, like to shout over each other, and generally whoever shouts the loudest gets to talk for a while.
Let alone the kids who start screaming for attention. I used to let this go at first, but after a whole summer of them being louder than my TV or stereo in my own home, I had to do something about it. So now I wait until they serve up the food and everyone’s plated up…before I crank up the lawnmower and drown them out so they can no longer hear each other.
They then scuttle off inside, having to carry everything in and relay the table. Sometimes they come out after I’m done and set up and continue. It just so happens that I’ll then find a bush or tree that needs tending to with the hedge trimmer. Petty as heck, but it does make me feel better.
46. Pennies From Heaven
Four years ago, I’m working the register as a cashier. It’s 10 pm and these two young men in their early 20s come up to the counter. They have three random novelty items (I don’t remember they were), but it was strange and unusual to get odd items this late at night. Maybe it was for some fraternity, I don’t know. It’s a college town, so I get weird stuff from frats a lot.
I scan the items and tell them their total is $22.31. Grinning at each other, they reach into their jackets and slam down two-gallon zip-lock bags. When I saw what was in them, my eyes rolled back into my head. They were full of only pennies. I stare them in the eye, but they didn’t even look back at me. Everyone else in line groaned and went to other registers.
These two kids knew what they were doing, but they didn’t know what they were in for. I prepared for this. I knew this was going to inevitably happen. I grinned with them, because I was gonna get paid during this, while these pranksters were only here for recreation. This conversation occurs between Me, the Ringleader (the other guy was silent and awkward), and a friendly co-worker of mine.
Me: Is this $22.31? Ringleader: … Me: Did you count it? Ringleader: Nope. Me: Are you going to? Ringleader: Nope. Me: Is it at least $22.31? Ringleader: Don’t know. Me: Nice. Co-worker: Hey! You guys can use the self-checkout. It can take all of your coins at once. Me: Oh, don’t worry about it— Ringleader: Nope, don’t trust them, lady.
Co-worker: What? Why!? Ringleader: Doesn’t count all your change right. Co-worker: I’ve used them before. It really works! Me: (to Co-worker) I got this. I unpacked the Ziplocs and threw all the pennies on the counter. It was a beautiful, massive mess. And I dug in. The two, still avoiding my gaze, start chuckling as if they were taking away my dignity. They whisper to each other “Dude oh my God,” “Dude yeah,” “Dude, hilarious.” I counted each penny, one by one.
My co-worker comes up to me. Co-worker: Guess I’ll help you count this. Me: Don’t worry about it. (She looks at me confused. Then she puts on her “get down to busy” look.) Co-worker: I got your back. Me: *Oh…*ok. We worked up a system where we counted ten, put them in a pile, then with ten stacks of ten pennies we separated them, making $1 piles.
We made progress slowly but surely. Some customers came to the line, but we advised them to get to another line. Some of them looked at us confused, but when they saw the counter full of pennies they understood. Some decided to wait, but when they realized it wasn’t going to take just a few minutes they took their leave. Another register opened so it wasn’t too bad for other customers.
We get to about $12 (about 10 minutes in). Then I enacted my revenge. I “knocked” over the piles. Co-worker: Hey! Me: Oops. Sorry. (Co-worker looks at my grin. I give her a wink and tilt my head, motioning her to leave) Co-worker: You know what, I think I better let you do this. Me: Ha, alright. (Co-worker leaves. I look at the two guys. They are absolutely stunned at the fallen piles of pennies.)
Me: (To Ringleader) Yeah, I’m going to have to count all of this again. Ringleader: ….Ok. I started from zero. I count slower than ever, and made my way back up. The duo is entirely silent. I get to about $7, when suddenly I say: Me: Drats. I lost count. I better start all over again. Ringleader: Really? Me: Oh yeah man.
Ringleader: Why!? Me: I lost count, sir. I could be in trouble if my register doesn’t have the right amount of cash, and I don’t want to rip you off. Ringleader: … Now it’s about an hour later. My manager walks past, looks at me. I smile at him, and he looks at the counter. He walks away without a word. I eventually count all the change. Here comes the best part.
Surprisingly they had only $18! Me: Hmm, I think that this is $18. (The duo has been completely silent. They look done for the night.) Me: I’ll recount it. I freaking recounted it. Me: I think this is actually $19.23. (Without a word, the Ringleader whips out a $5 bill) Me: Seriously? You had cash? Ringleader: Needed to get rid of my change.
Me. No problem. I’ll just recount this again. I want to make perfectly sure that this is $19, since I counted $18 the first time. Ringleader: Are you kidding me? (I shake my head no, completely serious) He then takes out a $20 bill straight out of his pocket and throws it at me. My co-worker gives the biggest WHAT THE HECK face.
Internally, I’m disappointed, because they were smart enough to have a backup plan. And the fact that he was touching his cash in his pocket the entire time kind of messed with me. I take the cash, do the transaction, give him his change, thanked him, and wished him a good night. The two start to put their pennies back in the Ziploc bags and I didn’t help them at all.
I watched them just how they watched me. Lots of pennies dropped to the floor, but they didn’t care to pick them up. It looked like their souls were sucked out of them. It was past midnight and I clocked out way past when I was supposed to. A lot of my co-workers gave me a thumbs up or told me good night. Even my manager told me “good job,” the only two words he ever said to me.
Went to bed at the dorms after such a great petty penny night and crashed. Strange to say, but I’d love to count pennies again.
47. The Early Bird
My roommate enjoys nice long showers in the morning using all of the hot water. Recently, I realized that he literally jumps out of bed and runs into the bathroom when he hears my alarm. I started putting my alarm on silent for a while and this was working well enough, but I still missed my morning shower several times because of his unreasonably long showers.
So I just started moving to two alarms, with one alarm about an hour and a half before I normally get up. This has caused him, for about two weeks now, to get up really early to run the hot water out, yet he’s still out of the shower with enough time for it to be warm again for me when I jump in. Small victories are nice.
48. No “I” In Team
This story takes place in my third year of college. I was taking a class where the entire grade was determined by a semester-long final project. We were supposed to be in groups of three on the project, but the third guy in our group had more sense than me and bailed early. This left just me and Lazy Girl, hereafter known as LG.
LG didn’t do anything the entire semester. I would ask her to work on pieces of the project, but she always had an excuse for why it wasn’t done yet (or in her case started). Now, I didn’t want any confrontation with this girl, as she was my friend at the time, but I finally lost it one night towards the end of the semester.
I’d asked her to meet at my house to work on the project, but “something important came up.” Fed up with this one-sided partnership, I decided to air my woes at the local bars that very night. And guess who I run into? LG and her boyfriend out drinking together! She made up some stupid excuse for me—so I made a plan to get even.
I powered through the entire assignment, except for the conclusion, which I asked LG to finish. I held out exactly zero hope that she would finish this section, so I quickly finished it myself and turned in my project with a little note to the teacher. The note detailed how I had done literally everything for the project and that despite my best efforts, I could not get LG to contribute.
I said that I was turning in my version and that our conclusions section may differ, as I’d asked her to actually do that part herself. So here’s a little tidbit about our final projects: We each had to turn one in. LG here not only didn’t do the conclusion, she didn’t turn in a project at all! She tried calling and complaining at me for not “giving her credit,” to which I went off on her for not doing anything on the entire project.
I mentioned how I even gave her the opportunity to turn in my work for a grade if she’d only do ONE thing! She hung up after that, and that was the last time we spoke.
49. Right Back Atcha
My grandpa’s neighbor’s septic tank started leaking into his backyard. He repeatedly asked him to fix the septic tank and clean up the mess in his yard, but he completely brushed him off. So my grandpa took matters into his own hands. He rigged up a “plumbing” system in his yard and installed an upright PVC pipe that pointed at the neighbor’s backyard over the fence.
I don’t know how the system worked (I was only about eight years old, as this happened in the early 90s), but it was set up to spray the neighbor’s own septic waste over the fence and into the neighbor’s beautifully polished yard. And just like that, the neighbor fixed his septic tank. They remained enemies until my grandpa died a couple of decades later.
I miss that old crazy man.
50. Full Stop
My old boss had a problem with tipsy kids taking his mother’s mailbox. He got tired of replacing them, so he told me to go out there and make sure whatever hits it doesn’t keep going. I bought a six-foot-long steel post with under three feet sticking out of the ground, then poured concrete around it and installed the mailbox.
The next tipsy kid that hit it never got a chance to take out the rest of the mailboxes on the street.
51. Shut It Down
The rich brats next door were always throwing loud parties whenever my mom and dad went out of town for a few days, which was often. One Sunday morning, I did a quick inspection of the property and found a bunch of litter had been left in the street or thrown into the grass. The worst part is that there was a public bus stop at the corner of our street, so we started getting complaints.
That night around midnight I gloved up, collected a bunch of them, then snuck into the neighbors’ yard and scattered them around the pool, the garage, and the back door where mom was sure to see them when she came home. There were no more parties.
52. Mind Your Own Beeswax
Beehives. Putting them up is allowed where I live, and I have had them for over 10 years. They don’t bother anyone and most of my neighbors love them as they are good for their gardens and they get free honey. However, one of my neighbors who moved in five years ago does have a problem with them, apparently. She has called the council and the authorities too many times to count, and they say all tell her the same thing:
They’re allowed, they’re not annoying anyone, and the bees were there first. So, she tried to take matters into her own hands whilst tipsy—she jumped the fence in the middle of the night with a can of fly spray. It was very dark, so she accidentally jumped into my neighbor’s yard instead. Their very large guard dogs bailed her up and she pretty much destroyed their gardens, boat, shed, and car windows trying to get away from them.
When officers arrived at the scene, she admitted that she had tried to poison my bees but went into the wrong yard. She tried to sue me, saying: “If I wasn’t trying to poison her bees, none of this would have happened.” The officers just laughed at her. They threw the book at her and now my neighbors are suing her for all the damage she caused.
She is now beyond broke. The bees are still there. When I hand out free honey around the neighborhood every few months, I always make sure she is around watching me and I intentionally don’t give her any. Other neighbors tell me they regularly mention my bees around her just to see her lose her cool.
53. Saturday Sale
When I was 10 or so, an old lady yelled at my brother and me for sitting on “her” curb. She could have asked nicely, but she decided to be a jerk instead. So we came up with the most ingenious prank we’ve ever pulled. We decided to have an estate sale for her. We got up at like 4 am on a Saturday morning and put up homemade cardboard garage sale signs we made with her address on them.
In big, bold letters, we also wrote: “Early birds welcome.” We then sat on the curb a little down the street across from her house and watched people bang on the door for an hour or so. The best part is we didn’t put a date on the signs, so if she didn’t find them all, people would just keep showing up every Saturday.
54. Peace Offering
I think I was the annoying neighbor. I used to live in a townhome complex where the back “porches” were just slabs of concrete and there was a field that connected all of them together. One night, I had like six friends over and we were on the slab grilling some chicken wings. We weren’t too loud (we had no music playing and we weren’t trashed), but I imagine we were still audible to the other buildings.
A woman from across the way started hollering at us, threatening to call the authorities. A few of my friends were like, “Screw that lady,” but I decided to take a different route. I plated up about eight wings with our scratch-made buffalo sauce and walked it over to the lady on a paper plate. I then apologized for disturbing her, handing over the plate as a sort of peace offering.
She told me she overreacted and was sorry for yelling at us. I told her it was okay, but I also asked her if she was doing alright because she’d probably had a terrible day; yelling at strangers for a little noise at 7 pm on a Friday like that. She ended up confessing that she did have a bad day, and I told her I was sorry. Moving forward, we kept our volume at a reasonable level as a courtesy to her.
A little while later, she yelled back over that they were the best wings she’d ever had, and we gave a little cheer back to her. Never heard from her again. Hope her days are better now.
55. Get Out (Leave)
After all of my siblings moved out for college, my parents changed the basement into a liveable unit and started renting it out. The first two tenants stayed for five years and they were great. We never had an issue with them. The third group of tenants, however, gave us a lot of problems. They stopped paying rent after three months and since it was winter we couldn’t evict them.
My parents had to suffer through their parties while not receiving rent that was meant to go to 70% of the mortgage…They almost lost their house because of these jerks. Well, my brothers and I were home for Christmas that year and after hearing about the issues, we decided to take care of it. Since it was my parents’ house and the tenants stopped paying rent, we decided to “move in” with them. These people were such jerks, I don’t even regret what we did.
We had the keys, so we would come in and out of the apartment as we wanted. A friend needed a place to sleep? No worries, we had a unit downstairs with two beds and two couches. We’d let them stay for as long as they wanted. The bars were closing but we wanted to keep partying? No problem, we had a furnished apartment and we wouldn’t be bothering my parents.
I would go there to shower at 2 or 3 in the morning so I didn’t wake my parents up. My brother slept in one of the beds for five days. I invited 20 people once and we were all drinking until 5 am, up until one of the tenants left for work in the morning. They did complain about privacy. We told them that according to the law, we were not allowed to throw them out at that moment; but since they stopped paying rent, they lost all privilege over the unit.
They called 9-1-1 the first night they found my brother sleeping there. We explained the situation to the authorities and said that they’d have to take us to court if they wanted us to stop using our apartment. Some other things we’ve done: We brought our pets (the tenants were allergic, so I borrowed my friend’s cat), we used one of the bedrooms as storage for stuff we were supposed to get rid of, we opened all the windows in the middle of winter, and we disconnected the water heater. We told them to take care of it themselves since they weren’t “tenants” but squatters.
56. Music Mayhem
We had neighbors (one girl above us, one girl below us) that were good friends with each other. The one above had two small dogs (we were only allowed one per apartment) and the one below had a bigger dog. We all got along fine, but the girl above us was a bit of a jerk—she would leave her dogs alone for far too long and be very invasive of our lives.
She’d constantly beg to use our internet or drop by and make herself at home. I was sitting in the living room one day and I heard dragging in the hallway. I went to check it out and saw both of the girls moving a mattress upstairs. They told me the girl below was moving in with the girl above us, making the living room her bedroom so she could sublet her apartment to save some money.
This was an old building, so there was not much in the way of soundproofing. That meant that we would have girl #1 still living there, who was loud enough, as well as girl #2 and the three dogs above us. We decided to keep the peace and not say anything….until that first night. They decided to have their own dance party at 3 am, in HEELS, while screaming wildly.
We said “screw it” and called the landlord. The next morning, there was a pounding on my door. I went over and saw that it was the girl above us. She was flipping the heck out. We apparently ruined their lives by revealing to the landlord that the girl who lived below us was subletting her apartment. That’s when the serious battles began.
It turned out she had been behind in rent, so the landlord was sick of her and gave her an eviction notice. That led to her going absolutely nuts. She would constantly stomp on her floor, run the hot water in the building for hours so it would run out on everyone else, encourage her dogs to bark, etc. We changed our WiFi password, enraging her more.
We wanted to take the high road, but soon enough, we needed to take action. We were going away for a couple of days and we knew our next-door neighbors quite well, so we mentioned our plan. They thought it was hilarious. Right before we left, we turned on that annoying French nun song, “Dominique.” The upstairs girl may or may not have been named Monique. We hit the replay button, cranked it to full volume, and left for two days.
The landlord called us after about 24 hours. We feigned innocence and claimed that it was a simple oversight on our end (but really, he knew what was up). We gave him permission to go into our place and turn off the music. Both the girls ended up leaving by the end of the month. They did not stop being jerks, but it was satisfying to know how much they suffered for at least 24 hours.
57. I See The Light
My friend had a neighbor who put in a very bright yard light that was pointed at her bedroom window. She asked him to re-aim or dim the light, but he just gave her the cold shoulder. Cue theatre stagehands. She put up a parabolic mirror pointed directly at the dude’s bedroom, then used an old projector dowser and an old lighting board to program a chase sequence that was put on repeat for hours on end.
The end result was a beam of randomly blinking light aimed at the neighbor’s bedroom window. When he complained, she let him know that it was his light source and all he had to do was turn off his yard light.
58. Scorched Earth
This all happened to me a few years ago. I told a friend the story of my divorce, and I was told to share. I thought we were happy. We were your usual suburban professional couple. Financially secure, healthy, good bedroom life, two kids—a 14-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy at the time. I thought we had a healthy social life, too.
We were going through one of your typical married couple rough patches. Both of us were working long hours, not spending enough time together, and we were going through some developmental problems with my son and tensions in the house were running a little high. I noticed that she was spending a lot more time on her phone texting with her “girlfriends.”
I didn’t think much of it, though now I wish I had. I started making a much more concerted effort to get out of work when I could, help around the house and be more emotionally available, but over the course of a few weeks the gulf just kept getting wider. I ended up accidentally finding some messages when I charged up an old IPad for my son to use.
Her FB messenger was still logged in and there were a lot of highly questionable messages with a guy from her hometown who I will call JimBobCooter or JBC for short. The messages weren’t completely inappropriate, but I could tell there were quite a few missing based on the times and context of the messages. I made a mental note to keep an eye on this and went about trying to fix things up.
The next day, I took the day off to knock out some projects that I thought would make her happy, and left her some sweet notes reminding her how much I appreciated her. Still, she was once again in the corner of the living room “texting her girlfriends.” I took the boy’s iPad to the office opened up FB messenger…and watched in real time as my wife tore me down.
Her and JBC were making fun of me. All of my flaws, insecurities and secrets I entrusted to my partner were now fodder for her and JBC. Not only that, but while there wasn’t outright innuendo, there was an undertone to the whole conversation, especially when she was bashing my performance in the sack. I managed to take some screenshots, but missed a good bit of the messages, because as the conversation was unfolding she was deleting them.
I wasn’t emotionally capable of confronting her. I stayed in the office until she was asleep and had a couple drinks. I took off the next day and spent some time soul searching, drinking, and trying to figure out what to do. The wife came home and wanted to know what was wrong and I just copped out and told her I had a bad day. A couple minutes later I was watching the iPad again. The train wreck kept unfolding.
So began a couple solid weeks of taking screenshots, drinking and detaching myself from the relationship. I knew there was no going back from this. The messages were now overtly intimate with my wife completely into it, and JBC was sprinkling in “I love yous.” I consulted a lawyer and got my options, and started moving forward. Here’s where everything got absolutely surreal.
Watching the messages, I found out JBC was coming to town to spend a weekend of quality time with my wife in a pretty nice hotel. I was missing a good bit of the info, as they must have had a phone conversation about it at some point, but I was able to infer enough to get the when and where. Sure as heck, the next day the wife is buttering me up and wanting to take a spa weekend with the girls to relax and when she gets back we can really focus on our marriage.
I go with it all the way. It’s the greatest idea she’s ever had, and I’ll do anything to get us back on track. I get with the lawyer and have him draft a strong separation agreement stating that she would move out, she would get weekend visitation, no child support in the interim until the divorce is final. Then I sit through the most agonizing two weeks of my life.
After all this, most of my feelings for her are completely gone, and I’m just seething with anger like I’ve never felt before. D-day arrives. I take the day off work. I withdraw half of any money in any accounts we are joint on, leave her half alone. I had already redirected my pay check to a new bank. I close our money market account and get a cashiers check for her half and deposit my half in my new account.
I stop at office max and print out about 75 pages of FB messenger screenshots, and I waste time because I don’t want to be at home. She texts me that she’s taking off and that she loves me. I tell her to have fun. I show up to the hotel at about 8:30 and call the wife’s phone from the lobby. It goes straight to voicemail. They are probably already at it, whatever.
I walk up to the front desk and ask if I can use the phone to be connected to JBCs room. It rings three times and he picks up. JBC: Hello? Me: JBC, can you send my wife down to the lobby please? JBC: I don’t know what you’re talking about, bro. Me: Ok then. I guess I’ll have to call Mrs. JBC and get her down here. (Totally a bluff. I knew he was married, and I knew her first name, but that was it.)
JBC: (Inaudible, shuffling, panic) Me: You got five minutes. Click Not even two minutes later, my wife comes walking out of the elevator looking a little flustered. I sit her down in the corner of the lobby. Her: Starts spewing garbage saying it’s not what it seems etc., etc. Me: I’m not here to argue. The things that are said in this pile of papers are what’s going on. The only way I’m not giving a copy of this to our daughter, your parents, and emailing it to everyone we know is if you move out immediately.
See, my wife was very prideful. Our daughter was going through a rebellious teen phase and her knowing probably would have forever ruined their relationship. My wife was also her parents’ golden child and she always worried about what they thought of her. I didn’t have much leverage, and shame was my only card to play. Also her professional life is built up around her image, so I knew she would protect that at all costs.
Her: Sniffle, mumble, inaudible Me: This is a check for half of the money market account. I’ve withdrawn my half of the money from all the other joint accounts. You should have more than enough to get a place. She starts to cry a little. I could almost see the different thoughts and waves of emotions going through her, but now was the time to keep pressing.
Me: Here is a separation agreement that I think is more than fair considering what’s going on. I’m going to need you to look this over, sign it, and leave it at the house when you get your stuff. Do you want to look through these screenshots? Her: No. Me: Ok. Go have fun with JBC. Do not come back to the house or I’m going to send this (holds up ream of screenshots) to everyone.
I bounce out of the lobby, and I can hear her start to have a breakdown. I get to the car drive off to a parking lot and have my own crying rage fit. Previously I would have cried in front of her and yelled and whatnot but I managed to get my stuff together enough to pull it off. I don’t know what she did that night or over the weekend. She texted and called over and over, wanting to talk.
I just turned the phone off and by the time Monday afternoon rolled around there were movers getting her stuff and she delivered the agreement. I let her have a talk with the kiddos basically saying mommy and daddy need some time apart, we still love you, etc., etc. Standard divorce talk. After a week she wants to have a real talk for the first time.
I oblige her because I’ve already got my stuff together and I’ve got an idea of what I want, but I should hear her out. She’s so sorry. She wants another chance. She wants her family back. She’ll do anything. She’s on her knees crying into my lap. I have no intention of ever taking her back. I tell her she needs to set up marriage counseling on her own at a time that works for me.
I tell her that I can’t live with her, but she should be around the children to try to maintain a relationship with them. So starts our new normal of her coming over the house, cooking and having dinner with the kids three nights a week (she always saved me a plate, I made myself scarce), her cleaning the house and doing the kids’ laundry then heading back to her place.
We went to counseling. It consisted of her working through her issues with the therapist trying to figure out why she did it, her begging for forgiveness, and me stoically playing the victim. I was never going to give her another chance. All I wanted to do was waste time, establish myself as the primary caregiver to the kids, and establish her as not having residency in the house.
After a few months, I go to my own therapist and get diagnosed with depression and PTSD. I ask my work if it’s possible to go to part time for the foreseeable future to deal with personal issues, and it’s no big deal. After six months of therapy, I told her that I couldn’t forgive her right now and that I wanted an amicable divorce, but she is still the love of my life and maybe someday we could give it another try.
She was devastated, but agreed to the divorce if I promised to try again someday. Once the divorce was filed I needed the kids to want to stay with me. I left a Google search for “how to survive your wife’s infidelity” up on the shared PC at home, and I left some printed out infidelity articles not so hidden in the kitchen. My daughter found them and came to me crying.
I told her she wasn’t supposed to find those, that mom made a mistake, that mom still loves her, and that I would always be here for her. My daughter who used to hold my wife in such high regard now wouldn’t talk to her without screaming, and it crushed her. Not surprisingly when the court needed statements from the kids a few months later, little brother followed big sister’s lead and they both wanted to stay with Dad in the house they grew up in.
When the divorce was finalized I got the house (had to buy out some of her equity, but that’s ok). I got primary custody of the kids. I got awarded generous child support due to the difference in our incomes due to me working part time. Now for the last two years, I’ve gotten to live in the house with my kids, work part time, get the now-ex to subsidize it for me, and when she takes the kids over the weekends I get to have my fun with tinderellas and some FWBs I’ve cultivated.
In the eyes of my kids I’m the patron saint of fatherhood for taking the high road and always being there. In the eyes of my ex I’m the one that got away that she will always pine for, and I get the bonus of having her come over for intimacy whenever I want it by dangling that carrot of maybe getting back together. But that is never going to happen.
59. Let’s Go To The Tape
This story is widely known amongst my family and is constantly brought up and joked upon in my group of friends even years later. Backstory: I was a senior in high school at the time and I had never been the brightest student. Still, I was a solid C student and I had never received a detention or had any kind of bad student record.
This is important because to this day, I still have no idea why the teacher treated me this way. The teacher, who we will name Mrs. Frank, had been a teacher there for more than a decade and was widely known for being a petty heartless witch who the administrators saw as the golden child. Mrs. Frank taught algebra, which is my worst subject, so naturally I had issues understanding the lessons and would ask questions frequently.
To some, these questions are easily answered but to me it was rocket science. Usually when someone asks a dumb question, no one should address it. However, in Mrs. Frank’s case, she would belittle me in front of everyone by saying things such as, “And here comes the slow boy again,” “Wow, surprise, surprise you don’t understand it again.” “Really? We have to go extra slow for you today don’t we?” etc.
I tried going to the administration about it, but again she was considered the golden child. They would send someone in to examine her during class, she would act respectful and normal for one day, and go back to being a witch the next. This goes on for about half the year, until I had enough. I went to the local Radio Shack, bought a recorder, and secretly recorded every insult she would throw at me.
I would sometimes instigate to make up for the lost time. Go ahead, feed the fire. Fast forward to the end of the year, and I’m sitting in Mrs. Frank’s class when I ask a question. Her response is burned into my brain. “I’ve been teaching here for over 10 years, and that was the single dumbest question I’ve ever heard come from anyone’s mouth.”
She continued the lesson without answering me. I calmly stood up, packed up my stuff, and headed to the nurse’s office to dismiss myself from school. I went home, compiled all of the brutal tapes into one glorious masterpiece, and headed back the next day to show the administrators. I sat down with the principal and we listened to a couple of the insults before he stopped me.
He wanted more witnesses present as well as Mrs. Frank. He told me we would meet the next day where I could show him and the rest of the administrators the full tape. I walk into school the next morning being the most nervous I’ve ever been for anything. I was called down to the office where I met with some board directors, the local school officer, the principal, the vice principal and Mrs. Frank. What follows was some of the greatest minutes of my life.
I watched as the administrators went from fed up with being in another useless meeting, to furious and speechless, with some of them keeping their mouths open for the duration of the tape. I also watched Mrs. Frank go from confident and stuck up, to her realizing that she had screwed up beyond repair. She was publicly roasting herself in front of the most important people from the district.
The tape ended, and without hesitation, the administrators looked around in astonishment and the principal turns to me and says, “I think we have heard everything we need to, thank you.” And I was quietly dismissed from the room. The final time I saw Mrs. Frank was leaving that room. I looked back and we made eye contact through her tear-filled eyes as I gave the biggest, most evil smile.
I returned to class the next week and Mrs. Frank was nowhere to be found. The story spread quickly throughout the school and I was seen as a saint. I had successfully gotten her fired and made it almost impossible for Mrs. Frank to return to her teaching career, as well as cut off most of her connections she had with other teachers in the school.
I had ruined her financially because no school district in the area would hire this walking piece of garbage. If you’re reading this Mrs. Frank, I’d like to take this moment to tell you to go screw yourself.
60. Playing With Fire
It’s been about four years since this happened. I was about 18 at the time, working for a security company. There were constant call offs and no shows, have no idea why. But being so young and naive, I was constantly working 16 hour shifts and not coming home until 8 am. Also, I lived with my father at the time. The time frame of this was around the 4th of July.
I finally had a day off and my best friend was back in town for vacation. We decided to get together and chip in on some good ol’ American fireworks. To be fair, I have had nothing but bad experiences with fireworks so I had no idea how I thought this would be any different. We got home with the fireworks and we laid them all out on the floor.
There were Sparklers, Bottle Rockets, Cakes, and Roman Candles. I say, “Why don’t we mess around with some sparklers since it’s still not dark yet?” Great idea! We go into my backyard, where it hasn’t rained in well over two months and it is extremely dry. You see the problem here? One of the little sparkies from mine and my friend’s sparkler made contact with the ground and made two small fires that quickly spread to a large area.
I ran as fast as I could to grab the garden hose and quickly started spraying down the fire. It was no use, it was spreading faster than I could spray it. I handed my friend the hose and called 9-1-1. What felt like hours was only four minutes and the fire was spreading to the neighbor’s fence. The neighbor came outside to grab their hose and spray down the fence, along with the burning grass in her yard.
The fire department shows up finally and I tell my friend “Only one of us needs to get in trouble, you should leave.” He was reluctant to leave because he felt equally responsible, but I convinced him. I didn’t want him to get in trouble. My neighbor was super chill about the entire situation at first. I told her that we could talk about replacing the fence and get some quotes to repair it.
She was just super grateful that everyone was okay. About two hours after the fire, the fire investigator came to question me about the fire. I told him the “truth.” I said I was in the backyard by myself playing with fireworks and accidentally lit the ground on fire. I had gotten off that day without being hit by any charges and was commended for being honest. Here is where it goes down hill very fast.
About a week later, I get a knock on the door from the neighbor. I opened the door and she handed me two pieces of paper for me to look at. There was a quote for the fence valued at around $4,000 and an estimate for lawn-care valued around $6,000. These were really shady and just typed out on a Microsoft word document with no logo or company name.
She then adds, “I will also be having you pay my water bill for three months because the new yard will need lots of water.” Now, the fence this woman had before was raggedy, and falling apart. Her yard? Weeds everywhere, and she never mowed it. Now looking at this paper, she wants a mahogany fence, and a brand new back yard with flowers and trimmed hedges?
I said “I need to get an estimate myself, this doesn’t feel right.” She says “Remember, you agreed to replace my fence, and a real man keeps promises.” I shut the door and called my dad to tell him about what just happened. He flipped out and told me “Son, don’t you give that woman single dime.” He gives me the number to his handyman and tells me to take care of it.
The next day, I had the guy come out for an estimate and the neighbor ran outside flailing her arms. “I did not give you permission to get an estimate on my fence.” Technically, it separates the property line, so it’s both of our fences. She calls the authorities on me for having a contractor, and they ultimately can’t do a single thing because I’m on my property.
He quickly finishes the estimate off at $1,200. I also knew a guy who did lawn care from my time working at the grocery store. He estimated the lawn re-seeding while she was away from the house to be about $800. After I get these estimates, I give copies to the woman and she is having none of it. “I don’t know these people. I don’t want them near my house, they’re probably really bad contractors.”
I said, “No, I know them personally. They are really nice people and do great work.” She shut the door in my face and I went on my way. I ended up working a 16 hour shift that night and got home at 8 am, and this woman comes knocking on my door at 9 am and demanded I speak to her. I explained, “I would really love to do this, but I just got home and I have to be back at work in less than 5 hours. I need to sleep.”
She goes, “What kind of lazy idiot sleeps in until 2 pm?” At this point, I had about lost it, and told her, “You can either accept my $2,000 for my quotes or kiss my butt and get nothing.” She stood there for a while with her mouth gaped open, but she accepted my offer and planned to meet down at the notary the next morning. I spent that night after I got off work writing a contract and gathering the $2,000 in cash.
The next morning I wake up and grab this contract to meet down at the notary. I was thrilled to finally be done with this broad, and never speak to her again. But it wasn’t over yet. I waited for her for over three hours and she didn’t show up. I get a call from her saying “I’m sorry the 2,000 isn’t enough, I’m having my guys start work on this project, and you will be paying me full price.”
Oh really? After that I did not say a single word to her, and I watched for a few months as these guys turned her backyard into an oasis, complete with a small pond, brand new sod and flowers, the whole nine yards. Come to find out she had plans to remodel these things for a long time, and was just waiting for the opportunity to go through with it.
Also in this time, she used her remodel funds to go on a trip to Hawaii. You know how I found out about this? She was bragging about it on the neighborhood Facebook group, and didn’t know I was in it. I have a different Facebook name than my real name. Are you ready for the revenge? Now four months after the fire and all the remodels, I get served papers to go to court for $10,300.
At 18 years old, I’m having to hire a lawyer to work my case. When we finally do get into court, I lay everything out. The quotes, being harassed multiple times, not showing up after agreeing to a deal, not wanting me to get my own quotes (required by law by the way), and her bragging about screwing me out of money—and I have proof of all of this.
The judge looked at her and said, “Ma’am with all due respect ,you’re out of your dagum mind. Not only did this young man tell the truth of what happened, he offered to pay you more than he was supposed to. Your lawn was already gone before the fire occurred, therefore he is only responsible for the fence of $1,200. I will also deduct from this his lawyer fees” So I burned this woman’s fence down and all I’m having to give her is $400? Cool.
She took a huge financial loss from this. I’m not sure how much the Hawaii trip cost her, but she was in serious debt. She ended up having to sell the house because of it and moved into a smaller house. Haven’t heard anything from her since. Now, I am not saying that I do not feel bad for burning down my neighbor’s fence. I felt really bad about it and wish we could’ve handled it more civilly.
I would’ve been happy to meet in the middle or get multiple quotes. To this day, I still do not use fireworks, because we could’ve really hurt someone.
61. All Tied Up
I knew this lovely German lady who I will call Heidi. She was married to a man who I’ll call Jerk. The jerk was a jerk for a number of reasons. He worked with my dad in IT, who said he had a hero complex where he would cause disasters at work and then try to be the hero and “save the day.” We even suspect he caused a huge IT disaster at our national airport while he was working there.
He was also really creepy. He creeped on my younger sister, calling her randomly and asking to pick her up. He was the exact opposite of his wife, who was lovely and sweet and charismatic, and I have no idea how they ended up together. Unfortunately, a while after we made friends with them, Heidi got very sick. Her colon stopped working, and she almost died.
Thankfully, she was in a country with stellar healthcare that saved her life, but she found out she has Crohn’s, and she had to get a colostomy bag. While she was recovering from her surgery, her husband committed a horrific betrayal. Jerk announced he wanted to divorce. His words were, and I quote, “I didn’t marry a sick woman.” Ugh.
He left her high and dry, and very soon was seeing someone else. He lost all the friends he had made in our country with his awful behavior, and my family told him he was no longer welcome near us as we were there for Heidi. He finally screwed off back to home; apparently, he had got into quite a bit of debt and skipped off to avoid paying.
Good riddance, we all said. Heidi found her feet eventually. She took up photography and went to university to study it. She did very well for herself, and lived a happy life free from Jerk. After about a year, Jerk contacted Heidi, and she told us the whole incredible story. Apparently, he was trying to sweet talk her into going over to Israel, where he was from, to go through with the divorce proceedings.
According to Heidi, your marital status is on your identity card in Israel, and it’s one of the first things a girl asks to see when you go on a date. When the girls saw he was married on his card, they’d never go for a second date. So every time he’d call her asking when she was coming over, she’d put on a huge grin and give him the perfect reply.
“Ohhh, I don’t know, I’m not really in a position to fly with my condition and all. Maybe when I get better.” She knew full well he wouldn’t set foot back here because his creditors were still looking for their money back. She would just relish in the knowledge that he was getting rejected by all those women he was pursuing in Israel while she chilled with us having a great time.
Heidi is doing much better now. She went back to Germany, though she still visits my family and her friends from time to time. She’s still her awesome self. I don’t know what Jerk is up to now, but I suspect after all these years he is still a jerk.
62. If You Can’t Dish It In…
This happened a couple of years ago. It had snowed a bunch and so I went out to clear a spot for my boyfriend at the time for when he got home from work. I spent a while digging it out, and as I was finishing up, some girl just drove up and parked in it—while I was still shoveling it! I told her that I had just dug it out intending to use it and asked her to move. Her response made my blood boil.
She just got out of her car and walked away…Turns out she lived two buildings down, so she normally wouldn’t park there anyways! Our complex had a mini snowplow and the dude was plowing in the area and saw this all go down. He helped me move all the snow from the pile he just created and put it all around her car. We buried it up to the door handles on all sides.
He then dug out a new spot for me. I saw her later trying to dig out her car, and it turns out she didn’t even have a shovel. So, naturally, because I’m petty, I went out and re-shoveled the sidewalk from the lot up to our building, throwing all of the extra snow on her vehicle while I did it. Then I went inside and took my shovel with me.
63. She’s Got The Touch
I used to live on the third floor of an apartment that had its laundry in the basement. This means four flights of stairs for me, no elevator, and I have a newborn so I’m washing quite a bit. So we have cubbies in the laundry room for our soap and stuff. I’ve lived there a year and never had an issue leaving my soap down there.
Apparently, some new people had moved in that were using my soap. When I realized it, I left a note asking that they stop. Nothing. They kept using. Okay. Now I’m angry. So I got two bottles of soap. A blue-colored one, and a clear colored one. I marked the bottles CLEARLY that they belonged to me (so they couldn’t accidentally say they thought they were theirs), and filled the blue soap with blue Rit dye.
I then filled the clear soap with unscented bleach. And waited…Didn’t take long. The next morning, I hear screaming coming from the laundry room. Four floors up I heard it. I waited a while and ventured downstairs. In the laundry room, I found a bunch of wet clothes in the garbage that were bleach stained. Four days later, I saw a young man get into a car with a blue stained t-shirt.
64. Such A Tease
I work as a bartender in a small cocktail bar for some time now, and I’m usually chill. But mean people still push my buttons in the wrong way. Before starting, I may be in the wrong for doing this, but it is what it is. A week ago, a bunch of guys came for a few drinks. They seemed like okay dudes, early 20s, but the group dynamic was kind of off.
Now, introducing the main antagonist. He was an obnoxious guy, too loud, snapping his fingers at me when ordering (don’t snap fingers at bartenders kids, we’re not dogs), punching his friends in the shoulders all the time. Basically, a sportier, really aggressive version of a David Spade character. Next to David Spade sat the victim of most of his “playful” teasing.
I really felt sorry for this fellow. He wasn’t a drinker, and he looked like he would rather be drinking from the toilet than continue sitting next to this macho maniac. He was really uncomfortable. David continued to bug him to take a shot at least, “Come on, one with me, don’t be a wimp.” Until, after a whole night of persuasion, finally my dude waved the white flag.
Ok, let’s do one shot together, then leave me be. “Two of your most messed up shots,” Spade shouted, snapping his fingers at me, while I imagined snapping his neck. Oh, you’ll get a messed up shot, buddy. I gave him a very “special” present. I made two shots, but while looking almost the same, they were different. David got stuff like Red Jacques, Tabasco, etc. Really nasty business altogether.
The other guy got mostly syrups and juices, harmless stuff. They looked almost identical, nonetheless. They took their shots and all heck broke loose. The good guy chugged his shot like a champion, not even flinching (why would he, he drank juice). But David Spade…Boy, oh boy. He looked like he’d have a brain aneurysm.
Tears pouring from eyes, coughing like his lungs want to come out, he had a face and a posture of a man who just got tormented with some sort of chili sauce. The other guy looked surprised until he caught a wink from me, but David Spade and the rest of the crew, now roaring with laughter about his misery, suspected nothing.
They got their shots on the house, poor dude was left alone, and David was a good boy for the rest of the night, defeatedly enduring small mockings from his fellows. Now, I may have used my powers in the wrong way, but this is the first and only time I messed with customers’ drinks. And I regret nothing. He was rude, aggressive even, to everyone around him. Screw you, sporty David Spade.
65. It’s Raining Snails
My parents have an extremely nosey neighbor who would just stand at the fence and watch what we did. I mean, with her nose resting on the top of the fence. This woman was in her 60s and she had kids and grandkids. I found out the other day that my dad was in the garden with a shovel. Turns out, he throws the slugs and snails in their trampoline and on their veggie plot for being annoying every time they aren’t there.
I couldn’t stop laughing at how petty and hilarious this was. Still makes my day.
66. Chain Of Fools
My neighbor used to insist on mowing his lawn at 5:30 am every Saturday morning. He had to drive on our property to access his back lawn and he would buzz right past my window with the mower deck down. It would always wake me up. I asked him to stop but he brushed me off. One Friday night after working a late second shift, I left my dog’s chain in the tall grass on our property between our houses.
5:30 am Saturday came around and I woke up to the sound of the mower sucking the chain up into the mower deck. The next weekend, I got to sleep in.
67. Feeding The Problem
We briefly had a neighbor who was a complete jerk. My personal pet peeve was when he would yell at our kids to “shut up” while they were playing in the backyard. Next to his driveway was a big tree and I noticed he’d throw occasional hissy fits over the birds defecating on his car. One week, he was out of town but his car was still in the driveway.
Each day, I put a heaping pile of berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) next to the tree. He returned home to a car absolutely COVERED in technicolor bird poop.
68. I Take Umbridge
In high school (10+ years ago), I was quiet and attentive in class. Teachers liked me. I wasn’t popular, but I had good friends. I say all this to explain that high school was relatively calm for me. I played sports, was on the student newspaper, and got decent grades. However, that all changed my second semester junior year.
I’ve always been a voracious reader. My freshman English teacher recommended I move up to the honors English track, so I did for freshman, sophomore, and the first half of junior year. Then I was put into Classical Literature my second semester junior year. I’ve always loved Greek and Roman stories, and had already read your typical high school classical reading list on my own.
I didn’t mind reading them again…until I met Ms. Umbridge. She put on a sweet facade, but she was downright evil. She also decided she hated me. I still do not know why, or what transgression I committed, but she HATED me. I assume it was my habit of sometimes nodding off in classes. At the time, I had undiagnosed thyroid issues, and was getting up at 5 am for swim practice.
I say sometimes, because it happened maybe twice a month total between all eight classes. I don’t remember nodding off in her class, but it could have happened. Anyways, her class was 50% essays/written reports. The rest were random quizzes and a couple of tests. I was on the student newspaper, and I was a decent writer.
I wasn’t worried about maintaining a B or up. We wrote our first paper, and I got a D. I was shocked. The only class I struggled in was Chemistry and still my lowest assignment grade was a C. After class, I asked Ms. Umbridge what I did wrong, because her notes were minimal. She told me my assessment of the material was “uninspired.”
Okay….Can you direct me to an example of an inspired assessment? “Come back during study hall.” Thinking she’d have some example materials for me to review, I got a pass to see her during study hall. Nope. She spent the full hour basically telling me I was an idiot. I remember leaving and crying, because she didn’t tell me anything constructive.
My friend (the eventual valedictorian) offered to help me on my next paper. My friend and I spent hours on this next paper. She never got below an A- on anything…I got another D. My friend was furious. She took it to her AP English teacher and asked him to review it. She said she was entering a writing competition and wanted advice. His response proved everything.
He said it was great. Her typical A+ work. My friend, quicker on the uptake, asked me for a copy of my original, first assignment. She asked her AP English teacher to look it over too…and he said she should enter the first one. The second one was still good. He’d probably give it an A-, but the other paper was better. By this point, my friend was convinced Ms. Umbridge was treating me unfairly for some reason, and she must not like me.
My friend wanted me to tell my parents or my school counselor. A teacher didn’t like me? That had never happened. Sure they didn’t all love me, but none had actively disliked me. I decided I’d try one more time, but this time get Ms. Umbridge to help me. Despite the previous horrors of spending study hall with Ms. Umbridge, I went to her office during study hall three times before the next paper was due.
She reviewed the paper and gave me tips on revising it each time. She did this in red pen. I took notes. By the time the next paper was due, I had three revised versions with her notes in red ink on each one. I got a D+. She smirked and congratulated me on my improvement. Witch. I was done. My friend was right. This witch had it out for me and was giving me bad grades on purpose.
I’m a laid-back person, but I was so angry. Never before been this angry. So I started to get my revenge. I took my paper to my newspaper teacher. Sure, he didn’t teach English, but our student paper constantly won awards because of his work. I told him I was having trouble in English, and could he please look over my paper and give me advice.
He was a little confused as to why I didn’t ask my English teacher, but he did it. He also told me it was great, but gave me a few minor changes to make. I asked him if he thought it was a B or better. He said he’d give it an A, not 100%, but a solid A. I went to my friend, and we brainstormed. I couldn’t request a drop/add. This wasn’t college.
You just don’t switch classes at my high school, unless the teacher recommends an honor placement. That’s not true, said my friend. The football and basketball guys get moved to easier classes all the time to keep their grades up so they are eligible for games. The athletics director was a friend of my dad, so I requested a meeting with him and my swim coach after school one day.
I told them I was in danger of losing my eligibility to swim, because I was pulling a D in a class. I wanted to move classes, but I knew I’d need approval from administration, which I wouldn’t get without a good reason. They asked if I had requested help. I explained I had asked for help from multiple people, but my grade wasn’t improving.
I didn’t know what to do. They asked to see my papers. I sat while they read them. They both looked at me confused. Neither of them could understand how those papers were worth only a D. The student Vice Principal was brought in. He asked who helped me. I explained my friend (he knew who she was, again future valedictorian), and she had even asked her AP English teacher to look it over for advice.
I had also asked my newspaper teacher to help me. Student VP asked if I had ever actually asked my teacher for help. I smiled and handed him the three revised versions of paper number three with Ms. Umbridge’s red ink all over them. He frowned. AP English teacher and my newspaper teacher were pulled into the meeting. They were each asked to grade the papers.
All three papers got an A- or better. While this was going on, my dad was called in by the athletics director. My dad was angry too. He demanded I be moved to another class, and that Ms. Umbridge be put under review. Clearly, she wasn’t grading students on their work but on her own personal opinions. The school administration obviously bristled at the accusation that a teacher was treating students unfairly.
A lot of arguing that I wasn’t allowed to sit on occurred in the VP’s office. I could hear plenty of yelling as six adult men argued over the appropriate next steps. It was decided that myself, my dad, VP, and athletics director would have a meeting with Ms. Umbridge. The following morning before school we all met. This is where it ramped up.
Ms. Umbridge seemed to think she was going to get to tell everyone why I was so stupid. VP explained that if I maintained a D in her class, I would lose my extracurricular eligibility, and we were all meeting to discuss what to do. She smirked and said I should be moved to the non-honors English track, and that I had no business being in honors English.
Apparently, I didn’t have the aptitude to understand the complex classical literature they were studying, and I probably would need a tutor to even get through basic English. I’ve never seen my father so red, and I half expected to see steam come out of his ears. VP asked why she didn’t try to help me improve. She said it was up to students to put in the initiative to get better.
VP asked if that meant I had never asked her for help. She said I had not. Oh, but we got her good. VP then pulled out the three revised versions of paper number three and handed them to Ms. Umbridge. Now it was her turn to be red. She called me a liar and said those notes weren’t hers. Things got heated, and I was asked to leave again.
I sat outside the office. This time the secretary was there, and we both heard the shouting. School was set to start in 30 minutes, and they were all just shouting. Then AP English teacher and newspaper teacher were called in again. More shouting. About 5 minutes to the start of classes, the teachers left and I was called back in.
Ms. Umbridge then walked out of VP’s office, shooting daggers at me. I was being moved to basic English effective immediately. My current grade would not carry over. I would not need to make up any past assignments, and the new teacher would be instructed to grade me only on the assignments going forward. My new English teacher, Ms. Honey, ended up being the English department head.
She was at least 65, and had been doing this for decades. After 2.5 years of honors English, this class was easier than PE. I barely had to try to get an A, but I refused to let Ms. Honey think Ms. Umbridge had been right. I tried harder in that class than any other class that semester. I finished projects so quickly that I was asked to tutor a girl struggling in the class.
I spent half the class period just helping this girl understand the material. I helped her go from a C- to a B+. I got something like 104% in the class. At the end of the semester, Ms. Honey called me into her office during study hall. Then she told me something that shocked me—and terrified me. She was recommending I return to honors English for senior year.
I must have looked panicked, because she immediately assured me that Ms. Umbridge would not be my teacher. In fact, she would not be anyone’s teacher. She was leaving at the end of the school year. Ms. Umbridge was only in her late 20s and unmarried. Too early to retire. And my high school was in one of the best paying school districts in the state.
I knew what leaving meant, and then Ms. Honey explained that I was put in her class on purpose. The school administration trusted Ms. Honey to determine the truth of Ms. Umbridge’s claim that I was basically a lying idiot. Ms. Honey stated I very clearly belonged in honors English. She apologized if her class had not been challenging enough for me.
I cried. I mean full on ugly, snot cried. I didn’t realize it, but part of me had actually believed Ms. Umbridge up until that moment. Ms. Honey hugged me and consoled me. I spent senior year in honors English and spent my study hall tutoring Ms. Honey’s struggling students. To this day, I think about that awful woman fairly regularly.
My career is strongly writing-based, and I still worry obsessively over my writing. I hope she never taught again, because she wreaked havoc on my self-confidence. I’m sorry to anyone who has ever had their own Ms. Umbridge story. It’s sad so many exist out there wreaking havoc on self-conscious teens. Don’t let your Umbridge keep you down! You are better than Umbridge. Go out and do exactly what your Umbridge said you shouldn’t do.
69. The High Road
I was visiting my friend at his dad’s house in an area where the land is so steep that all the driveways have to switchback up from the main road to the houses. A straight driveway is not an option because it would be steeper than the building code allows. A few doors down the road, there lived a nice old couple who until recently had had a vacant lot next door to them, but the lot had sold and the new owner had started construction on a new house.
Unfortunately the lot was so steep that the new owner built his driveway partly on the old couple’s land (it was carved out of the hillside with an excavator). This probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if the new owner had approached the old couple first and asked nicely, but did he? Would I be telling this story if he had? In fact, the old couple had no idea what was happening until they came home one day to see a huge scar in the hillside snaking up from the road in front of their house.
It went across the corner of their property, winding upwards to where an excavator was working to prepare the land for their new neighbor’s house. They were pretty upset, but being nice, reasonable people, they figured it was an honest mistake, so they went over to talk to the machine operator. He didn’t know anything useful, but he was happy to give them the phone number of the new property owner.
The old guy gave him a call and politely explained the situation, but his new neighbor, whom he’d never even met, was having none of it. He flat out denied that the driveway crossed the property line, and he was rude enough that the old guy was pretty upset. At this point, the old couple weren’t sure what to do. They double-checked the property pins to make sure they were right, and of course they were, but after further conversations with the new owner it was clear he was an unreasonable guy who wasn’t going to come to the negotiating table willingly.
The old couple didn’t want to take court action because that would have been expensive and, frankly, the damage to their yard was already done. At the same time, they couldn’t just let someone walk all over them like that, especially if they were going to be living next door for the foreseeable future. So the situation stewed for a while as construction continued on the new house, until one day when my friend’s dad saw the old couple in the neighborhood and they started chatting.
Of course they told him the story about the jerk new neighbor. Now, my friend’s dad really likes the old couple, who don’t have a mean bone in their bodies, so he was pretty angry about the situation, and when he went home he couldn’t get it out of his head. That evening, after a few drinks, he had a brilliant idea. He called up the old couple, explained his plan, and asked for their permission to carry it out.
They chuckled and gave him the go-ahead, so he hopped into the rusty old full-size pickup he kept as a second vehicle and drove it over to the old couple’s place, where he parked it across the encroaching driveway, making sure it was entirely on their property. The next morning, the work crew arrived bright and early to find that they couldn’t drive to the house they were building because some jerk had parked an old F-150 across the driveway.
They saw a note in the window with my friend’s dad’s phone number on it, so they called him to ask what the heck was going on. He explained that he had permission from the owners to park there and that, no, he would not move his truck so they could get to work. Furthermore, if anyone attempted to tow the truck, they would be charged with trespassing and theft.
There was no way the construction guys were going to haul all their tools up the hill by hand, and they didn’t want to get in the middle of a court battle, so they just called the new owner to let him know they’d be taking the day off and that they’d continue to take days off until the property boundary dispute was resolved. The new owner called the old couple in a fury, but the old couple told them the same thing my friend’s dad told the construction workers.
Basically, the vehicle was parked on their own property, so if he had a problem with that he could go screw himself. To make an already long story shorter, the new neighbor ranted a while, but eventually he wanted his house to be built, so the nice old couple ended up with a significant sum of money in exchange for an easement allowing the driveway to pass across the corner of their property, and my friend’s dad got several thank-you cases of drinks and the satisfaction that comes from putting an jerk in his place.
70. Greed Is Bad
This is about a job where I and about 200 other guys were promised, and earned, bonuses. The company was a financial services firm known for paying well, but one year they decided they’d withhold bonuses. This is how I handled it. So I was working for a financial firm: 1,800 employees, with a sales force of 200. I was one of the salesmen.
We had our annual meeting in April. It was a big affair. Most of the employees attended, and the CEO gave a big speech about how the previous year was the best in the company’s history, blah blah blah. The next month, May, we each submitted memos basically justifying why we qualified for—or should qualify for—bonuses at the end of June. I wrote mine out and explained the sales growth in my territory over the course of the previous 12 months, and what percentage my sales were out of last year’s total sales.
Coming off the company’s best year ever, it should have been a slam dunk, right? All of us were excited about how much we’d have coming in June. June rolls around and my bonus is zero. ZERO. But it’s not just me. It’s all over the sales floor. Less than 20% of the sales force got bonuses, and everyone was ANGRY. All the supervisors were dealing with angry subordinates, the sales manager was too, and even the VP and director above him.
Everyone was furious and insubordinate, angry accusatory emails were flying, and the company was facing a mutiny. It got worse when it came out that the supervisors were offered bonuses that they could determine for themselves. Most of them took them, but a couple—knowing their subordinates wouldn’t be getting anything—refused. My supervisor took his.
When it came out, he tried to explain to his sales team about how he felt it was justified and how hard he worked. He ended up with people screaming at him about how they felt the same but they didn’t get jack. So for a week or so, things on the floor came to a stop. A lot of people just didn’t show up and the ones that did were angry.
I came in and started reading Monster.com ads at my desk. I also stopped selling anything, or answering my phone. When confronted by my boss, I told him that as soon as I got the bonus my sales justified, I’d start working again. Until then I’d be coming in late, reading and responding to want ads, and leaving early. He could expect me to keep that up until I found another job or was fired.
The following day, I was sent to the regional sales manager’s office. She said she’d heard about my work stoppage and asked me to explain myself. I told her that if she heard about it from my supervisor, than she already knew why I wasn’t working and I didn’t need to explain it again. She tried buddying up to me, being friendly, then being stern, then being angry.
I kept my composure and told her that the longer the company held out on my bonus, the longer it was going to miss out on sales from my territory. I then gave her my average daily amount of sales from the previous year, quantified what the total loss would be for a week of me not selling, and how much cheaper it would be just to pay me the money I was owed and get me back to selling.
Then I thanked her for her time and told her I’d be leaving work as soon as I left her office. And I did. The following day I came in, checked my emails—some of which were farewell emails from co-workers who quit over their bonuses—and sat on Monster.com until I was told to go to the office of the national sales manager. He’s the gatekeeper; he’s in charge of all 200 of us.
He told me he understood that I was upset, and could see why. I asked him if withholding the bonuses from 80% of his sales force was his idea or someone else’s. He didn’t answer. He did tell me that I would be getting a check on Monday, and could I please go back to work now? I told him I’d be going back to my desk, but work wouldn’t start until the check was in my hand.
When I went back and checked my emails—yup, more defections. The next day, an email went out to the entire sales force: Management had taken a look at the numbers, re-evaluated the financials, and determined that June bonuses would be issued shortly. The email also apologized for the delay, and reminded us that as salesmen, we were the core of the company and our hard work was appreciated.
I also received another email, this time from the national sales manager, who told me while bonuses were scheduled for Monday, he’d be walking my check to my desk the following day. The following day I showed up, sat down, and shortly afterwards the national sales manager walked on up and handed me my bonus check. That’s when I completed my revenge.
I thanked him, and handed him my resignation effective immediately. In my resignation letter, I requested that a check for my unused vacation time please be cut and given to me before I left the building. When he finished reading it, I told him I’d clean out my desk while I waited for the vacation check. While I was doing that, one of my co-workers also resigned effective immediately.
We were walked out at the same time and ended up drinking at the bar across the street. I learned later from co=workers that remained that even though the company issued the bonuses, they lost about 20% of the sales force in the following two months. Gotta love corporate greed. The company had been around over 30 years by then and was known for generous compensation and had never before played games with bonuses or payments.
71. The Baker’s Revenge
This may be the pettiest thing I have ever done. So in my city, there is a pub that’s attached to a donut shop that serves the best donuts in the city, which always causes a long line. Because it’s attached to a pub, it doesn’t close shop until 9 pm, as there is a solid flow of business rolling in. Anyway, my girlfriend and I get a serious hankering for some snacks one night so we decide to head to the donut shop, and arrive out around 8:30 pm by car.
Now, there are only three parallel parking spots a little up the street from the place, and they are all 15-minute spots, which are usually full. We see up the street that, count our lucky stars, a spot is free! My girlfriend pulls a little ahead of the car in front of the spot, turns on her indicator, and begins backing into the parking spot…when this little white Vespa driving behind us whips into the spot.
I roll down our window and call out to the driver, “Scuse me, we were just backing in.” The driver, who seems to be a pretty university student, shrugs her shoulders and calls out to me, “Sorry, first come first serve!” while she and her friend share a good laugh. My girlfriend suggests we just get donuts another time, and I tell her she can drop me off here, I’ll buy the donuts since I know what she likes, and she can loop around.
She agrees, and I pop out of the car, pass the little white Vespa where the girls are still gathering their things, and head to the shop. As always, the line is super long for donuts and since this is the last batch, the donuts are slim pickings. Wouldn’t you know it, those same girls are behind me now, looking at the five or so different flavors that are left.
They’re talking about which ones are best and which ones they haven’t had yet. I hear one of them jokingly mention, “Thank god we got a parking spot,” and they burst out laughing. Here’s where I got my sweet, sweet revenge. I get to the front of the line, and when they asked for my order, I request two dozen donuts, which is every last one remaining.
The girls behind me didn’t listen to what I ordered, but eyebrows of confusion started to form on their faces as they slowly saw each donut loaded into the boxes and their options dwindle. One of them (the driver) in desperation asked the baker who was loading them in, “What, you’re not even gonna save a few for us, though?” My response was perfect.
I turned around and said, “Sorry, first come first serve.” She honestly looked like she just simultaneously solved a movie mystery and pooped her pants. It’s difficult to put into words but truly an expression I can never forget. Best donuts I ever tasted, and there were also enjoyed by the rest of my office the next morning.
72. Perfect Timing
I was at a gas station putting air in my tire. This gas station required you to pay $1.00 but came with a pressure gauge. The gas station across the street had free air but no gauge. As I’m filling my tires, a lady pulls up beside me and starts asking questions like how much it was to use, how much time, etc. I answered her questions as best I could but really was more focused on filling my tires since there was a time limit.
My car has annoying warning lights that let you know if a tire is low, even the spare, and I hate when these sensors are lit up. The lady is still waiting there and is getting visibly annoyed. This lady yells out, “Will you hurry up! I’m in a rush!” I was confused for a second but quickly realized that she just wanted to use my time without paying.
I did what any gentleman would do and proceeded to move slower. I pulled out of the spot and into a gas pump. She almost hit my car swooping into where my car was. She jumps out and as she puts the air pump to her tire, it shuts off. I guess I was smiling way too big because as she jumped into her car and sped off she yells, “screw you” at me.
I was so pleased with how it all timed out I didn’t even care. Such a great moment.
73. Driving Me Crazy
When I was 15, I began working, and by the time I was 17 I had enough money to buy my first car. Me being young, when my egg donor (my bio mother, who doesn’t deserve a different title) and stepdad said they were titling it in their name, for insurance and registration purposes, I didn’t question it. Six months later, they’re divorcing.
When the divorce is finalized, my egg donor informs me that MY car, that I paid for, was going to my ex-stepdad in the divorce, since it showed as joint property between them. I was furious. The car looked nice on the exterior, but burned through a quart of oil every two days, and drove horribly, but it was still my car.
So the week before my ex-stepdad was due to pick it up, I quit putting oil in it. I drove around town extra that week, and I was that smoke cloud in town of burning oil. Then I topped off my revenge. See, my friend had a goldfish die. It was a pretty big fish, 3-4 inches long. I asked for it. The morning of the car being taken, July mind you, I cut the yellow foam beneath the passenger seat.
The foam was sticky, abrasive, and resealed easily due to the stickiness. I cut the foam, and stuffed the fish corpse into the padding, pushed it as far over as I could, then the foam stuck back together nicely. My ex-stepdad showed up with his girlfriend (girlfriend was the mistress, thus causing the divorce) and he made a big show of giving her MY car as a gift to her. I just smiled.
I wish I knew how well the car went over, hours later, in the hot July weather, but I can imagine.
74. Looking A Gift Horse In The Mouth
This happened a couple of Christmases ago. About four months before Christmas 2018, my boyfriend at the time accidentally spilled a drink on his laptop and wrecked the thing. He couldn’t afford a new one and it was his main source of entertainment, so I said he could borrow mine since I didn’t use it that often. Everything was fine until Christmas that year.
He still hadn’t gotten a new laptop by that point, but I assumed that was because he was saving up to get himself a decent laptop rather than a bad one he could just about afford. Anyway, he handed me my gift…and to my surprise, it was a brand new laptop. I assumed that he bought me a laptop to replace my old one and was going to take my old laptop for himself. Nope.
His gift to me was buying himself a new laptop so that he didn’t have to use mine anymore. Nothing else. Just that. I was outraged. But then a petty thought crossed my mind. Little did he know that I’d fallen into a bit of money so I had decided to surprise him with a top-of-the-range gaming laptop which was easily more than double the price and quality of the one that he bought himself.
So I decided to “give” him his present. When he opened it, his eyes lit up and he looked so excited at the prospect of his new laptop. But when he started to open it, I took it back from him and told him that it was actually for me and my gift was letting him keep his new laptop without me trying to use it all of the time.
Of course, we got into a massive argument and that eventually led to us breaking up. I returned the laptop and used the money to go on a spontaneous holiday with my friend for New Year’s Eve. No regrets.
75. Peace At Last
I was waiting for my flight to board at a major east coast airport. In walks this young, slick, LOUD business kid on a conference call, shouting into his Apple earbuds. Drops his bag on the one free seat and starts pacing the floor, up and down the aisle, oblivious to dozens of folks eating lunches, working quietly, and babies sleeping.
He continues pacing and shouting, “Yup, yup, we’ll upload that into the system…blah blah jargon jargon acronyms and business,” annoying everybody around and making everyone else get out of his way. Folks start giving him the stink eye, but his shouting and pacing continue, his circuit widening until he’s walking out of sight, then circling back, still shouting into the air.
After 20 minutes of this, I’m over it. The kid stalks off in a hurried pace, abandoning his backpack for the three or so minutes it takes him to pace the terminal. So I walk up to a TSA guard and point to the bag, “Sir, there’s an unclaimed backpack on that seat!” Then I walk away. TSA starts making announcements, trying to find the owner of the bag, but business kid is too oblivious, pacing and shouting.
TSA is already removing the bag when he realizes and chases after them. Too late, he’s a suspect and he has to follow them out of the terminal for a bag check. And now it’s quiet again.
76. Animal Instincts
Years ago, shortly after I graduated high school, I got a new job to support myself during college. The new gig was in a pet store and I was working in the department that sold the fish, aquariums, reptiles, and birds. The store manager was an awesome guy who I will call Kurt. Kurt was an old school guy. He went to work, worked hard, and went home. That’s all he expected out of you as well.
My immediate manager over my department was this large snaggletooth witch of a woman. I’ll call her Stephanie. We got off to a bad start because she quickly found out that I knew more about reptiles than her (she preferred the fish, whereas I had kept snakes for the past 4-5 years). Her ego couldn’t handle a fresh employee not needing her guidance. From then on, she was terrible to me. She singled me out to clean the goldfish tanks, and had the other employees cover sales EVERY day I worked.
She would say rude things to me such as, “you are the weak link in my team, you are the reason I’m having problems in this department.” Fast forward about a year, my hours had been cut by about 25%, and I asked the store manager what the deal was. He told me that our department had lost too much money between lack of sales and broken merchandise, etc.
This puzzled me but I didn’t think much of it because everybody’s hours were cut. Simultaneously, myself and a few co-workers had noticed something strange. Stephanie had recently taken much more interest in the customers. She insisted on helping certain customers and sending us to do busy work while they were there. A customer came in one evening and was talking to us about “how nice Stephanie is…”
Turns out, Stephanie was breeding mice and selling them to customers outside of the store. We actually found out she was breeding all of her animals (her dogs, turtles, mice) and selling them to customers she met through our store. Not only was this taking business from us, our store had a couple of corporate policies, for example we did not feed nor sell mice as live food for snakes, we donated a lot of time and money to shelters, and we condemned breeding dogs and cats for sales.
Stephanie was making money by selling animals to the customers, and all the while her department had hours cut for all of its employees. It didn’t quite make sense, how this was costing us so much money, until one evening I thought I had figured it out. Stephanie was an otherwise lazy woman, but when one of “her” customers came in, she was by their side the whole time.
I watched closely as she followed a customer around, helping them pick out a cart full of expensive aquarium decorations and terrarium supplies like lights and bulbs. I followed and wrote down every item she grabbed. I wanted to see where this went. She directed the customer to a register and went to check them out (she’s lazy, and would never do this for any other customers).
I noted the time and went back to work. I later spoke to other cashiers about Stephanie checking customers out, and they said that she only ever rang up certain customers and she acted weird when they did it. They suspected she was misusing coupons for them or applying hefty discounts. I got my co-workers to corroborate my story about the under the table animal sales and suspicious behavior, and I went to talk to Kurt.
I handed him a paper with about 20 items and the time written on it, and I said, “I think if you look up a transaction from register 2 at this time last night, you will find a large discount applied to it. These are the items I would expect you to find on that transaction.” He was a bit puzzled and I explained everything to him. I told him I didn’t want to make any accusations before because I wasn’t sure, but after seeing her in action I was pretty sure something was going on.
He thanked me and assured me he would look into it. A couple weeks later, I was at work and I noticed Kurt was standing near the door and watching closely. It just so happens Stephanie was coming in for her shift right about that time. The second she walked through the door, he called her over to his office. Apparently waiting in his office was a regional manager from corporate.
He had looked at the list I gave him and looked up transactions from the night before. He found one at the exact time I wrote but it only had about half of the items I listed, but every item that was on the receipt was on the list I gave him. This prompted him to watch her for a few weeks, and in that time frame they found her to be taking “her customers” around shopping, personally taking them up to the register, and scanning every other item.
Then she would put the expensive stuff into the cart without ringing it up. In that time span, she had given away over $1,500 in merchandise. He also looked back at the logs we keep for broken merchandise that is written off and found an excessive amount of aquarium supplies and decorations that were signed off by her. It was something like 1000% more written-off broken merchandise than was found at the same time last quarter.
All in all, she was charged with defrauding the store in over $3,500 in merchandise, and it just so happened that Kurt had already arranged for officers to meet them after firing her to escort her out. I don’t know if it went any further, but I did watch her get walked out in cuffs with about 20 employees staring, I wish I could have said something, but I had to settle for her making eye contact with me as she walked out, to which I gave her a quick wink.
77. The Sins Of The Father
When I was 15, my mom started dating a man she met on a dating website. I didn’t like him the first time I met him, and two months later he moved into the house. About three weeks after he moved in, he took my skateboards, self-built half pipe, ramps, BMX bike, ice hockey gear, and many other things to the dump one day while I was at school.
He said he did this because he didn’t want all of my stuff cluttering up “his” garage. Maybe two months later, he punched me in the stomach for the first time because I got up from the dinner table without asking to be excused. From there, it escalated into full-fledged beat-downs for the smallest perceived slight to his authority. One day, he decided to take my extensive Pokémon card collection, even more extensive comic book collection, My Game Boy, and PS2 with all the assorted games, and my fantasy and sci-fi book collection and got rid of it all because “15 year old boys should be playing football and baseball, not being a nerd playing with Pokémon cards and reading comics and books.”
I would like to add that he was a middle school teacher, and in his off time refereed and umpired local middle and high school sports games. My mom never intervened, and in fact acquiesced when he demanded that she stop giving me lunch money, because “the little jerk will just spend it on comics and other gay stuff.” One day, I took maybe $3 and change out of his change jar so that I could buy a slice of pizza and some fruit punch during lunch at school, because I was tired of being hungry.
My twin sister was always a bit of a jerk, and frequently blackmailed me into doing her chores from a young age. I was fed up and refused to do something, so she told him what I had done. His retaliation was breathtaking. This man actually called the authorities and pressed a larceny charge against me, and once the officers had left, he proceeded to beat me senseless.
At that point, I ran away. When officers found me and returned me to my home, I found out that he had been trying to talk my mom into sending me away to boarding school or something of that nature. I ran away again, and between having run away several times and the larceny charge, I ended up turning 16 in juvenile detention. I spent the next couple years miserable and afraid, frequently contemplating suicide.
Once I was out on my own, I didn’t speak to my mom for several years. We eventually reconciled, and by that point they had married. I was a lot bigger than I had been as a young teenager, and had gotten into weightlifting, so he no longer acted like he was going to punch me to make me flinch, much less actually hit me. We basically avoided each other for the most part.
Then my mother found out that she had stage 4 cancer, and no longer wanted to waste any of the time she had left with him. She had a lawyer draft up a separation agreement whereby he would receive a set amount of money upon separation, and would have 45 days to retrieve his belongings from the house. A while ago, he had spent his entire inheritance in six months and then had to sell his mother’s house that he grew up in in order to settle his debts shortly before they started dating.
My mother bought the house back from the bank before they married. She allowed him to keep the house and he moved back into his mother’s house. My mother passed about nine months after their separation, and despite the agreement she had been allowing him to come and get his stuff piecemeal. I put an immediate end to that. He was past the deadline to remove his personal effects and they were now mine to dispose of as I saw fit. So I got sweet, sweet justice.
I sold his baseball card collection (around $14k) and his autographed sports memorabilia (roughly $11k) and also sold all of his woodworking equipment, along with several finished pieces of furniture that he had made ($6,500 I think). I kept his mother’s engagement ring (platinum band, three diamonds, roughly two carats), wedding band, his coin collection (I also collect coins) and some tools and other odds and ends. Now comes the real fun.
Around a month ago, I finally saw him at the grocery store. As he was leaving, I approached him. I told him I had sold his collections as he was pushing his cart out towards his car. He reacted exactly as I expected. He took a swing at me multiple times. I already had my phone ready to dial 9-1-1. Several of these punches missed and the ones that did connect didn’t have much effect because he’s nowhere near as strong as he was 20 years ago in his forties, and I am no longer a skinny little 15 year old.
He continued to try to punch me as I spoke to the 9-1-1 operator, and was actively ramming his grocery cart into my new Toyota as the officers pulled into the parking lot. He was charged with assault, communicating threats, and destruction of property. As a result he lost his job (and pension) at the local middle school, and because he had never learned how to save money while married to my somewhat wealthy mother, he ended up having to sell his mother’s house.
My nephew, who was on the football team, made it well known to his friends that he not only had just been convicted of assault as well as other charges, but that he had also beat me as a child, causing several parents to call for him to resign from refereeing and umpiring for local sports games. My niece and my girlfriend’s much younger sister are enrolled at the middle school where he worked, and say that he was not only universally disliked, but when he came up to the school to get his belongings, he made a big scene and ended up crying as he was leaving.
At least that’s what they’ve heard from the kids who were attending summer school at the time. His son, who he was equally abusive towards as a child, refused to take him in or help him out, so he ended up having to take a job as a cashier at Wal-Mart so that he could afford the rent on his little trailer in an absolutely awful neighborhood.
Even though that Wal-Mart is not the closest Wal-Mart to my house, that is now the only place where I go grocery shopping or to purchase anything that I need. I purposely stand in line longer than I need to just so that he can be the one who has the pleasure of ringing up my purchases. The first time I went through his line, he attempted to ring up multiple items more than one time to overcharge me.
When I called him on it, he said that I was mistaken. I asked for a manager, and the manager believed him that it was an accident, but he learned that he can’t get away with that. The second time, I made sure to be as nice as possible and had to ask for a manager because he was overwhelmingly rude. The people in line behind me backed me up and he got in some trouble for that.
Every time I go there and step into line, I see him die a little bit inside, and it gives me such satisfaction. Sometimes I’ll say that I’m paying with exact change, and as I’m about to hand him the money I’ll say “Oh! I didn’t realize I had (rare coin from his collection) in my pocket! I guess I’ll use my credit card.” I just sold his expensive ratcheting wrench set, and so on Monday when he works again I’m going to go buy my daughter one of their better above ground pools, and as he’s ringing it out tell him, “I know that (daughter) is just going to love this pool. It’s not like I would have ever used those expensive ratcheting wrenches anyway.”
78. Harsh But Fair
My mother was a really awful person. I have four other siblings. One older sister, three way younger, with three different dads. Before I was born (I’m a boy by the way), my oldest sister was taken away from my mother when she was a few months old because she tried to stab the father of my sister WHILE HE WAS HOLDING HER. She lost custody and the dude left her.
My older sister goes to live with her father’s family in a different city. CUE LIL OL ME COMING INTO THIS WORLD. My dad went to jail 2-3 years after I was born for a while, and I rarely saw him. He’s an alcoholic if that matters. My mom was a single mother but she made it work and she worked hard. One of the bigger problems was that she took out all her aggression and hatred of my father on me, as well as work stress, etc.
She dealt with abuse growing up, which I’m sure definitely affected her relationships and how she treated me as well. Anyways…Cue me being mistreated from the age of 4-5 to about 17. Every day was horrible. She was extremely strict and her perspective was warped. She was also pretty big in stature and had a lot of strength. Examples of her being awful: I got beaten up badly once because HER room was dirty.
The dishes weren’t washed and I got beaten as soon as I got home, even if there weren’t dishes when I left to go to school. If I walked too loud, I’d get my butt beat. She broke my nose for looking at her the wrong way on my 10th birthday when she brought me a cake I was allergic to. It had peanuts’ she knows I’m slightly allergic but feigned ignorance.
It was more or less every day or every other day. She used her fists/elbows/extension cords/hangers/chairs/canes/bats/etc. Whatever she could find, I was getting beaten with. I couldn’t ever escape to my room for long because she would always call me every few minutes to get her things or to yell at me. She never drank or anything. Whenever she was upset and I happened to be in front of her, she’d kick me down the stairs to make me hurry up.
She’s put a knife to my neck before and had to be forcibly stopped by her boyfriend at the time. Burned my Christmas presents from other people (she didn’t get me anything that year) and just other really horrific things. The only thing I will say, she tried really hard to make up for it with video games and electronics and etc. It didn’t make a difference to me though, it never helped.
She controlled most aspects of my life. I got by with little petty revenges. Peeing in the Lipton iced tea she drank. Rubbing her forks and spoons between my butt cheeks before I served her dinner. Ignoring her screams for help when she had kidney stones. But by the time I got to high school I turned to drinking. I resented her, and the negative atmosphere affected who I was as a person.
I started to be cold and uncaring. Calculated. She started kicking me out every few months, telling me to find somewhere else to live by age 15. She sent me away to a different country for a year and tried to keep my passport but I made it back to the US with the help of the embassy and my stepfather. I came back senior year with no credits for the prior grade, which ended with me getting a GED.
I spent most of the time I could with my best friend and started working bad jobs. I was terrible at saving, as I had accumulated loads of bad habits while growing up, so it didn’t make much difference. My mother eventually told me that if I went to college, I would ALWAYS have a place to live until I finished. Cue my first two semesters at a two-year college.
I maintained a 3.7ish GPA. My teachers loved me, and it was my escape. Towards the end of my second semester during finals, I came home late one night around 10 pm and my mother yanks the door open, screaming in my face and asking when I’ll move out. I’m slightly tipsy and decide to completely ignore her and walk to my room. If I opened my mouth, that day would be the day I blew up and cursed her out.
I’ve rarely ever raised my voice at her because it never ended well. Now at this point, I’m 19 and I’ve been doing school full time with no savings. I’m also fairly fit and could easily take my mom at this point (never laid a hand on her or any woman, though). I get to my room and she rips my door open and starts yelling. I say nothing and stare at her.
She walks away and called the authorities on me, saying she thought I’d harm her and my younger siblings. I don’t know where the heck she got that idea from as she’s the one who’s nearly ruined me many times. I packed everything into a duffle bag and left five minutes afterwards. I failed all of my finals because I couldn’t make it to my school.
Things kind of spiralled, and the next 2-3 years were me on and off homeless. I survived the best I could in a big city with no college degree and made a lot of bad choices due to my bad habits. Eventually, I found a profitable hobby that gave me meaning, and through that I started to work my way up. Got my own apartment, had a full time job, and did my hobby on the side.
I hadn’t kept up contact with my mother at all, but my younger sister who was old enough to have a phone found me on social media so I saw photos and such. She didn’t have it anywhere near as bad but she did get beaten occasionally. My mother reached out via email, all smiles and asking how I’ve been. Now guys, I’ve always been envious of the relationship most people have with their moms, so I gave her a chance and gave her a call.
We talked for a few minutes and everything was civil. It seemed like things would go okay. I was so very, very wrong. She asked me what I’ve been up to the last few years and I told her honestly that I was homeless for a while and struggled a lot after what she did to me. Nonetheless, I worked my way out of it. SHE LITERALLY LAUGHS. She laughed for a few seconds in a very condescending kind of chuckle.
Then she said, “I never did a thing to you so you don’t know what you’re talking about! It’s your own fault you were homeless. So how about yo—” but by that point I hung up. I was speechless and fuming. I’VE SPENT TOO LONG LETTING YOU DESTROY MY SANITY. NOW IS THE TIME. See, there were a few things my mother didn’t know. One, I knew for a fact that the current well-paying job she had was gotten on lies, as she never got her college degree and lied about it on her resume.
Two, I had access to all of her email accounts and cloud storage accounts since I was the one that set them up when I was younger, and she never changes her passwords. Lastly, she DEFINITELY wasn’t aware that from 13 years old and onto the last time she hit me, I took photos of ALL my bruises/marks/wounds/bloody noses, saving them to my computer.
ON TOP OF THAT, my little sister had been sending me photos via social media of the bruises she got from my mom. The first thing I did was compile ALL of those photos/videos into one folder. I then reached out to CPS in my city and explained that my siblings were being mistreated, how I was mistreated in the past, and that I had mountains of proof.
Since I’ve called the authorities on my mother before, there was immediately a home visit. They arrived almost a day later with the authorities and coincidentally my mother was literally in the process of beating my younger sister when they were knocking. Cue an emergency removal of all my siblings from the house and my mother getting tossed behind bars, although she was released hours later.
I sent CPS all the evidence and there’s a legit case against my mother now. The next day, I emailed and then called up her job to inform them that she had lied about having a very necessary college degree as well current events in her life, which sparked a background check. She was fired days later. Say adios to 75L and a blacklist in the only industry you know how to work.
I then spitefully deleted every cloud account and email address I ever made for her, which was all of them. I’m sure this will make keeping up with a lot bills nearly impossible. I then anonymously reported her to the IRS because of the tax fraud she committed for years by claiming people’s children that weren’t hers with A LOT of detailed information, since I lived with her while she did it.
So now, my mother lost all her kids and her job. I’m meeting with a caseworker from CPS next week to talk more about what happens moving forward but I do know they’re NOT going back. I don’t know how she’s going to pay her mortgage now and survive. I’m sure she’s going to get a call from the IRS soon, who’ll be looking for a few thousand dollars she owes them.
She also has to go back to court in a few months. I’m not exactly sure what she was charged with yet. Side Note: She isn’t aware that I’m the cause of any of this. I plan on keeping tabs on her and waiting until it seems like she’s close to her end before I tell her it was all me…and that I peed in her Lipton tea. Sorry not sorry, mom.
79. The Notebook
A while ago I worked at a baseball store called Bal-Mart (or a general goods store that sounded like that) not so long after the Great Recession of 2008, and management was trying to cut costs because of falling profit. One of the first things management did was fire two of the three full-time maintenance and cleaning guys. The one guy they kept, I’ll call him MG for maintenance guy, was amazing at his job.
Everything in the store ran well because of him and his willingness to go beyond what was required to help people. A genuinely nice guy. For six months, management tried to make having one third of a maintenance staff work, and it failed miserably. MG could not do everything, and over time management increasingly asked him to “coordinate” some part-timers that were supposed to do the cleaning and carts. He spent so much time “coordinating” that he had no time for maintenance.
The night crew was also cut, so they couldn’t pick up the slack. Then two things happened within the space of a week. These events told management how important he was to the store running well. First, some cleaning machines broke down. Turns out they have to be properly cleaned weekly, and if left alone they gum up real bad and parts wear out quickly. A several thousand dollar repair bill because he was told to prioritize coordinating part-timers over “tinkering” with machines.
A few days later, the deli lady nearly quit after the blade on the deli slicer went flying off and could have cut her face badly. Turns out that the bolt that held it in place was loose, and MG had tightened it weekly for her. When he didn’t have time to do that anymore he told management it had to be replaced for safety. Well, management didn’t do that because it cost money, but they told people it was fixed.
That could have been a lawsuit; they and deli lady got lucky. So management sat down with him and asked him why things were going wrong. MG told them point-blank he needed enough time for maintenance, and someone else had to coordinate the part-time cleaners and check up on them (they were rather lazy). Management called him a liar; they said maintenance should be easy and done quickly.
MG got mad because that insulted his professionalism, and he pulled out his notebook from his back pocket. It turns out that over his 15 years, he had filled the book with charts, schedules, and diagrams of how to do his job and keep things running. There were over one hundred things he checked weekly or monthly. There were a lot of machines he kept in running order, some had certain things that were half-broken and had to be wiggled in a certain way, etc.
To be honest, a lot of these things were minor or major safety hazards, but over the years management was fine with not replacing multi-thousand dollar machines if MG knew how to keep them working. As well, he did things that he should not have done, like calibrating machines for departments that should have done it themselves or contracted it out, etc, but he was a nice guy and he liked helping people.
He told me that he spent about a half-hour telling management about what he did, and he suspected that until then nobody had ever known how much he did. Well, he may have said a few swear words and derogatory things while telling management why he needed time to do stuff, it was not a good moment for him and he was angry. At the end, he put his notebook back in his pocket and offered to take a week to write up everything he knew so that management would have written proof of why his job mattered in case a higher-up asked why they increased maintenance costs when corporate was demanding they cut costs.
The multiple managers in the room looked at each other, and asked him to leave so they could talk in private. He told me (several years later, when I ran in to him somewhere and had lunch with him) that he had a premonition as he walked out of the room. So he went to the backroom and tossed his notebook in the garbage compactor. For good measure, he then went around the store and emptied all the garbage cans and tossed those bags in so his notebook was properly buried.
He was fine with it, all that information was in his head. After a few minutes, management called him back. They told him that they could not allow him to keep working there because of the level of insubordination he had showed. They said as soon as he surrendered his badge, box cutter, and notebook he would be escorted out of the building by security. He handed over his badge and box cutter, and then they asked for the notebook.
He said he threw it in the compactor. Their eyes went wide and they asked why he threw it out. He said he thought he was going to write everything up nicely on the computer from memory so he thought he was done with the notebook. At this point, management starts looking at each other, worried, because they had intended to take his book, fire him, and have a less subordinate part-timer (who doesn’t get expensive benefits like a full-timer) do his job.
Now they couldn’t. One of the managers suggested that he be allowed to write up the info before being escorted out, the others agreed. He was given the chance to be unfired just long enough to give them the info. How kind. He laughed and walked out, head held high, and management followed him to his car to make sure he left. I don’t have exact numbers, but I guesstimate the store had to spend at least twenty or thirty thousand bucks to replace stuff that MG had kept working beyond the equipment’s lifespan, and the new guy they hired had a heck of a time figuring out how things worked.
To be honest, in a few cases MG had gone too far, like creating fire hazards by taping broken chargers together after rewiring them instead of tossing them, but management had never complained when he saved them money. There were also a lot of things that should have been done by the health and safety team or the departments, but they also never complained about having less work.
I asked him if throwing out that notebook was illegal but he said it was personal property to help him remember things; it was not a work-provided notebook. He was proud of what he did, and his pride clearly showed in how he told the story. He said that nobody is allowed to question his professional judgment by implying he is lazy. I agree.
80. Get Rich Quick
About 6 or 7 years ago, I was trying to enlist in the armed forces. I ended up not joining, but that’s a story for another time. At this point, I was led to believe I was about four months away from leaving for Boot Camp. I was running out of savings, and needing a part time job for some spending cash while I waited around. So I did what any enterprising 20-something would do and searched Craigslist for jobs.
I normally hate sales jobs, especially those based on commissions, but figured it would be a great way to earn some extra cash short term. Found a few job listings that looked promising, and put out some applications. A few days later I received a call from David. He was opening up a new store and needed associates. He liked my resume and asked if I’d be available for an interview on Friday morning.
I was very up front with him, and let him know that the distance was a bit more than I’d normally drive for a retail job, and asked what he was offering for an hourly rate, to see if it was worth the drive. He told me that they were planning on offering an hourly rate in the mid teens, along with commission. Seemed like an ok deal, so I agreed to be there Friday at 8 am.
Friday arrives as a cold rainy day. I wear a nice shirt and tie, and drive in heavy traffic to the address David provided. I knew the area from a previous job, and eventually found the strip mall I was looking for. However, I’m not seeing any signage for the company name that was listed. There is, however, one empty space with no signage and two people inside.
Ok, maybe they haven’t gotten the store set up yet. No big deal. I had arrived early, knowing how bad traffic can be in that area. While in my car, I witnessed a young lady in business casual dress remove a sign from the window stating “Retail Space for Rent! Call 1800-Blah-blah.” Ok, a little weird but maybe it’s the first day in the space. I walk in about five minutes early, and immediately my BS meter goes from Yellow to the highest level, “Black Watch Plaid.”
The tables are all simple plastic folding tables. The kind college kids would buy while on a shopping trip to target. The walls are plastered with laminated charts featuring tons of dollar signs, smiling faces from stock photos, and an organizational chart showing an all to familiar shape: A Pyramid. Darn. Alright, might as well have fun for a while to wait out traffic going home.
The young lady in the dress approaches me, introducing herself as Cindy. She welcomed me to Company Name, and asked me to have a seat. She sat at her “desk” (another plastic table), and pretended to go through paperwork. However, she was really just shuffling papers around. We get to chatting, and I ask her how long she’s worked for David. She says she’s been his secretary for about six months and that I’m going to love it here.
Eventually, a guy walks out of the back office. Early 30s, clean cut, wearing an ill-fitting suit from JCPenney. As he is walking over, all smiles, Cindy says, “Oh, Dennis! Our newest recruit is here!” The guy stops in his tracks and gives her a cold stare. “It’s David, Cindy. We’ve been over this.” He turns back to me and gives me his brightest “Hard to find good help these days” smile.
David sits me down and welcomes me, saying they are going to start with a group interview and has me sit down in a circle of chairs. Eventually, more people come in and sit down. David gets up and begins to thank us all for coming. He tells us about an exciting new opportunity from Cutco! He pulls out a set of knives, and explains how with his company we can make as much money as we want, all while setting our own hours.
He even pulls out a textbook, saying about how this company’s “revolutionary tactics” have even been featured in college textbooks! He opened to a page, his hand covering parts of it, making sure we can all clearly see the words “CUTCO!” in large letters on the page. Sad to say, a lot of the other interviewees were very impressed by this. One pregnant girl seemed very excited that she could work around her pregnancy and upcoming birth.
David was going on and on about how much money he’s made and how “hard workers will rise to the top quickly.” At this point, David said he needed to take a quick phone call, and gave us five minutes to have some coffee, chit chat, whatever. As he stepped away, he left his college textbook behind. Oops. So I pick it up, find the earmarked page, and read. What I found made me almost burst out laughing.
As I thought, it was all about pyramid schemes, and it had Cutco as one of the largest examples. It goes on to talk about how these are scams, not economically viable, etc., etc. So I decide to share this all with the group. I explain how pyramid schemes work, and how he’s just scamming us. They seemed incredulous, so I said when David gets back, to ask them about what we need to pay to get started.
That finally got everyone to realize what was going on. David walks in a few minutes later, and one of the girls in the group asked David what we need to get started. “Well, all you need is your first set of knives to demonstrate! You can sell that on directly or have them order one and keep that as your demo kit. Doesn’t matter. Just have to pay the start up fees for it.” And that’s when all hell broke loose.
One kid started to get up and tell him to go screw himself, saying he’s wasting our time and he’s a jerk for trying to pull this. The pregnant girl is crying because she thought she found a place that would allow her to work despite being pregnant. David is clearly confused and flustered, and asking who told them all this. When it becomes apparent I’m the wrench in the machine, David gets upset and starts telling me to leave.
People are yelling at David, David is yelling at me, Cindy is trying to tell everyone she never met David before today and didn’t know what this was. Eventually we all walk out, leaving David behind. As I’m walking to the door, I see, leaning against the wall, the sign that was in the window before “Retail Space for Rent! Call 1800-Blah-Blah.” As I get into my car, I dial the number.
Eventually I get through to a person, and ask about the property for rent at the location of David’s company. The nice lady on the phone apologized, saying they had just leased that property out. I asked if she knew how long the lease was for, as I was really interested in the property. She said she wasn’t sure, they hadn’t done the official paperwork yet. They were on their way to the space to sign everything with the lease holder in a few hours.
I told her everything that had just happened to me, and about David using the space for a pyramid scheme. She got extremely upset, saying that this stuff happens all the time in the industry. They will go to sign and last minute the lease holder will decide to opt out, after using it for some fly-by-night operation. She thanked me for the info, and I thought that was the end of that. Or so I thought.
A few weeks later, I received an email from David telling me how I ruined his life. About how the property management found out what was going on, and weren’t refunding his down payment on the space. Saying he violated a clause in the paperwork he signed to hold the property. How he knew I was the one who called because I’m a terrible human being.
Now he was out thousands for the space and supplies, how he only wanted to give us jobs and help us. It was a long, very angry email, with several things said about me and my mother. So I called 1800-blah-blah again, spoke with the same lady I did before, and she was VERY interested in an email from David where he essentially admitted to what he was trying to do. Said it would help them all in the proceedings. And don’t you know, I was more than happy to send that email along to her.
Her lawyer said it should be an open and shut case at that point. I like to think I’m a helper.
81. Music To My Ears
Flashback to 2014… or so. I moved out on my own in 2013 and moved into an old house converted into a two-floor apartment, directly across from my future in-laws. The downstairs neighbors were loud. BLARING music at all hours (yes, all of the hours), wouldn’t cut the grass or take out the trash on our shared schedule. Crappy neighbors, but never bothered me directly.
The guy was pretty chill when sober and would turn the music down a little when I texted him. He was okay until his girlfriend moved in. Now add shouting matches to the mix, and all of the sudden my requests to turn down the music makes him turn it up. I can barely walk on my super-thin floor without her banging on the ceiling with a broom. I was okay since I am heavy sleeper and could sleep through anything.
My wife moved in, and I quickly found out that she is quite the opposite. Fan on turned at a certain angle in the doorway of the bathroom, door closed half way, blackout curtains with them taped to the wall so zero light comes through, zero sounds other than the fan, you get the idea. I told her that we can’t expect them to remain silent when she’s ready for bed, we need to be reasonable, but the wall rattling music needs to stop during the night.
She hated it during the day, but I told her there’s nothing we can do then, so she would go to her parent’s house a lot during the day. I talked to neighbor-guy, and he said “yeah man that’s cool,” but it turns out the girlfriend wasn’t having it and his attitude then changed to, “Yeah well it’s our house so you can go screw yourself if you think you can tell us what to do and you can move out if you don’t like it.”
Something definitely had to change at some point. So I did the only thing I could do. I fought fire with fire, and maliciously complied with the law to the T. I could only report them for noise after 11:00 PM. I now forget the morning hour when the noise could start, but I believe it was 9:00 AM. My dad has these huge old concert speakers in his garage.
Professional grade, black leather bound, 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and a pretty nice, vintage stereo/amp. He has two, but my apartment was so small I sadly only had room for one. We replaced our coffee table with this thing, laid face down onto our thin, office carpet. Tired of his tunes, I tested this Geneva Convention-breaking device when they weren’t home. Holy cow.
I had to take everything down from tables, counters and shelves because they would shake off. I prepared audio files to feed the stereo. I was giddy like a kid with a new Christmas toy. I turned it on when I left for work and got my wife up to send her to her parents. I came home from work and hung out at her parents until it was close to bed time.
They resisted for three days. On day two, I found a pile of manure on my doorstep, but it didn’t faze me. I cycled between sine/saw/square waves in clashing chords, marching music (Washington Post March on loop), preaching clips (they weren’t just atheist, but outspoken anti-Christian, so it was a must), the most stupid songs you could think of (Captain Planet theme song, Chicken dance, etc).
This poor old house rattled in ways I didn’t think possible. The vibrations from the sine wave would make your vision blur. I eventually got a text from him that read, “sorry man you can stop now.” I did not. He needed a few more days to let it sink in. Plus I had so much fun putting it together. They complained to the authorities and the landlord.
There was nothing they could do since I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I didn’t even hear music during the time of peace to follow. It was so quiet. They would build up their courage and try again every few weeks when I wasn’t home, but my wife was. I then showed her how to tame the beast so she could let it loose while I was away. I had to give them a spanking every now and then, but they learned. They were so happy when we moved out.
82. Park It
I live in an apartment building that has end-to-end parking for two spaces per apartment, and access to the parking levels (1-5) are done via a locked automatic roller door, which people can only get through if they have a remote for it (or sneak through behind someone else). I only have a single car, and sometimes I let my friends park in the space in front of my car if they give me notice, so I generally park at the back of the double space.
Earlier this year, a random car began parking in front of mine on Friday afternoons, meaning I couldn’t go out with my car on Friday nights. Annoying, but not the biggest issue when you live super close to the city. This continued nearly every week over about five weeks when I didn’t park my car at the front of the bay (which I began doing), but times I planned to leave the space free for friends coming over or whatever, the car appeared again.
I made repeated attempts to stop this behavior by leaving notes, which escalated into leaving print outs of a photo of the car with the license plate clearly visible and an explanation that if it happened again I’d press charges and/or have the vehicle towed. Well, it happened again, and this time it was still there Saturday afternoon when I had been planning on going away with a group of my friends.
My guess is, someone went out on Friday and decided to pick up the car “later,,” not concerning themselves with the inconvenience it caused anyone else. It clearly hadn’t moved, as my aggressive note telling them to screw off was still there sitting limply under their wiper blades. I figured enough was enough, it was time to have the vehicle towed.
I called building management and eventually calling a towing company, who refused to help because the space was on the third floor, and they can’t get any trucks up to that level because of the height and space restrictions. Ordinarily, most people would be pretty much screwed at this point, and I will admit I briefly considered sitting on the hood of the car until the jerk came to pick it up while sending my friends on their way without me, but they would have had to work out a new arrangement for transport as one car wouldn’t have cut it.
Fortunately for me however, my parents only live 30 minutes away, and have a garage where I work on one of my cars that’s getting at the tail end of a minor restoration. One of the things I use pretty often is a set of Vehicle Positioning Jacks, to jam my project car right up against the wall of the garage to minimize the space it takes up. For anyone that doesn’t know, Vehicle Positioning Jacks are basically devices that slot under each wheel, then lift the car up on hydraulics so you can free wheel it in any direction.
While I hadn’t originally gone to retrieve them, when I had to take my project car off them, a bright idea came to my head. None of my friends minded spending an extra hour to screw someone over that had interfered with us, so we grabbed the jacks, and went back, propped the car up, and wheeled it out. Six guys can easily move around a small hatchback, so we pushed across the level slowly and carefully, to an area where there isn’t parking, but is a load-supporting pillar with space enough for a car behind it, in a little section of the garage where it isn’t lit, and is completely out of the way.
Typically there’s a guy on my level that parks a motor bike there, but he isn’t meant to, and I doubted he minded. We dumped it between the pillar and the wall, with the nose pointing towards the wall, I took back my angry note, the jacks, and we left to enjoy our weekend. When he came back Monday afternoon after the long weekend, the car was still there, which was no real surprise considering there was only about a foot of space for movement between the pillar and car, and another foot or so between the car and the wall.
From the fact the front wheels had changed, we’re guessing they did try to get it out, unsuccessfully. It eventually went later in the week, though I’m not exactly sure how they managed it. I never saw that car again.
83. Just Desserts
About three years ago, I was working in a pretty big factory. They hired through five different temp services, so the place was pretty much like a revolving door. People came and left without any warning, and sometimes it was hard just to find a familiar face. So when someone started taking my lunches, everyone became a suspect. I fell victim to the Lunch Box Bandit for a week straight, I’m talking about six 12-hour days with no lunch.
Needless to say, the frustration spawned several evil plans, but I felt the Carolina Reaper would give me the fastest and most effective results. All I know was people where gonna think twice before taking lunches. I spent all night making the best steak fajitas for lunch the next day. I finally minced the Reaper peppers into a nice pico de gallo, and topped my devil fajitas off.
I carefully placed my fajitas into a Tupperware bowl, garnished them with cilantro and limes, then covered them with a clear lid to display their beauty. The next morning, about an hour after I placed them in the fridge, a woman started screaming for help. I ran to the lunchroom to find the Lunch Box Bandit laying on the floor gasping for air.
The Reaper peppers triggered an asthma attack, and he had to be rushed to the hospital. He never said anything, and neither did I, until now.
84. Can I, Or May I?
This happened in the early 90s and at the time this teacher had been teaching for 30-plus years. It was a rural area, so many of my friends’ parents had also suffered through at least one year of primary school with this awful woman. I’ve seen a grown woman cry recounting memories of her experiences—this teacher really was really that bad.
My second-grade teacher took pride in being a mean old witch to her students. Wielding control over our tiny little bladders was something that gave her particular satisfaction. One day during cursive lessons, this kid named Joseph asked to use the bathroom. She told him he should’ve used the bathroom during morning recess and would have to wait until lunch.
A little while later, he started squirming in his seat and again asked to use the bathroom, this time with more urgency. At this point, our teacher starts berating the kid by telling him he is a little baby for not holding his bladder like a big boy and suggesting that he should wear diapers. Joseph gets tired of her, stands up from his seat, stares her directly in the eye, and proceeds to unleash the most epic man-sized pee he could muster.
As fate would have it, he was wearing those mesh material basketball shorts, so the pee just flowed unobstructed down his legs and pooled on the carpet beneath him. A wave of giggling quickly spread through the classroom, which was basically the second grade equivalent of a slow clap. Our teacher just stood there dumbfounded for a moment before grabbing Joseph by the arm and dragging him off to the principal’s office.
As they exited the room, Joseph glanced over his shoulder with a big grin on his face. A legend was born that day and we all enjoyed our newfound bathroom privileges for the remainder of the school year. The teacher retired the following year.
85. It All Comes Out
My petty revenge story is a little gross, so I apologize in advance. I have a sensitivity/intolerance to most meats. Red meat is the worst, and beef is particularly bad. Doctors recommended I try to get my protein from alternative sources if possible, so I’ve happily been a vegetarian since I was 13 or so. When I was younger, my aunt did not believe the doctors, and thought I was just being fussy.
We come from a meat and potatoes town, so she had plenty of friends backing her up on this. This is the same aunt who convinced my parents I was faking asthma (turns out, I wasn’t…shocker), and also refused to get her own daughter glasses because she thought she just wanted them for attention. She later discovered her daughter’s eyesight was atrocious…another shocker, I know.
The whole family regularly had dinner together, taking turns hosting. When it was my aunt’s turn to host, she assured me my burger was meatless. As you probably guessed, it was not. I was starving that night and gulped down my (beef) burger first. My aunt was smiling, and I thought it was simply because I liked her cooking. Looking back, I realize her little smirk was because she thought she had caught me in a lie or achieved whatever her end game was. She would come to regret it.
Well, a few minutes passed and I got that familiar, unpleasant feeling in my stomach. It was then that I realized what she had done, and why she was smiling. When I eat meat, I almost always get sick. I just can’t hold it down. So, when it came time to kneel before the porcelain throne, I decided to stay put. I instead took aim at my aunt, who was seated beside me at the head of the table.
86. A Taste Of Her Own Medicine
I was out to a movie with my friends last night. We come and sit down, and I realize pretty soon that this girl in the row behind us has her feet up on my friend David’s seat. She’s there with one of her friends. So David turns around and he says something like, “Uh, do you think you could put your feet down?” And I think they say something in response but I didn’t hear it.
The feet didn’t go down. A few minutes later, David says, “Hey, will you get your feet off my chair? It’s extremely rude.” And they still don’t budge. So I tell David that he should go find an employee and get them to talk to this girl. He does exactly that, and after a couple of minutes, an employee comes and talks to this girl.
She is obviously pretty peeved but begrudgingly agrees to put her feet down. After the employee leaves, she puts her feet right back up. At this point, I’m teed off. Why is it so important to you that you have your feet up on someone’s chair? You’re just being a brat. So I get out of my seat, walk up two rows, sit down in the seat directly behind this girl, and stick my foot on the back of her chair and push it forward.
They both turn around and try to say something to me, but I can’t really hear them since the movie had started by this point, so I just say “just watch the movie.” I kept my feet up there the entire movie. It felt like I had done wall sits for two hours but I’m glad I did it.
87. Hot And Cold
My boyfriend and I were both in high school, and at the end of the relationship he told me he was “just in it for my body,” that he “didn’t really mean any of it,” and that I obviously “just wanted him for the same reasons.” He then went and had a hot and heavy make-out session with my best friend and came back and told me I was “a bad kisser compared to her.”
Yeah, he was a jerk. Well, flashback to a few months previous. I was angry at him because he was being really hot and cold, and so I wrote an angry poem about him. The magazine he had been trying to get into had a website and would publish poems based off of popularity on the website. He had gotten me to join a few months previous and I only had a few poems up.
I decided against posting it then because it would “be too mean.” Well, after he had pulled that stuff, I decided I wanted a little revenge. So I posted the poem. And suddenly it was getting A LOT of popularity. And I get a notification from the magazine saying they want to publish it. So what was the first thing I did? Messaged him that I got published in this magazine.
He got excited for me and congratulated me, until… he read the poem. Several million people have read the poem in the magazine, and to this day, he still hasn’t gotten published.
88. The Whole Package
I work from home. I receive a notification on my phone that my Amazon package has been delivered. It’s a couple hundred-dollar item, so I immediately go outside—but no package anywhere. I was outside as the delivery van was driving away, so there was literally no way someone snatched it in 20 seconds. The Amazon driver is two houses down.
“Excuse me. I received notification that my package was just delivered, but it’s not there.” Driver looking shocked, stammering over words. “Oh, uh, what’s the address?” I give him my address. “Yeah, I just delivered it to you.” “No, you didn’t. I’m calling Amazon and y’all can sort this out.” I start walking away. Driver calls out, “Oh I found your package. But it says there’s an issue and I can’t deliver it. It’s likely a duplicate and another driver will be by later to deliver the correct one.”
“Then why did you mark it as delivered?” “Oh, because I didn’t see there was an error. The other driver will be by later.” “No, I’m calling Amazon now.” I walk away and called Amazon to report the incident. They say nothing is wrong with my package and it’s marked as delivered. I tell them about the interaction and they say the driver should’ve given me the package.
Even if it’s a duplicate, the driver is not supposed to withhold a package. They’ll investigate and get back to me in 24 hours. Two minutes after getting off the phone with Amazon, my doorbell rings. I happened to be next to the door, so I open it within five seconds to see the same delivery driver hauling his butt down my driveway.
He jumps in his delivery van and speeds off through the neighborhood. I look down and my package is there. I call Amazon again to let them know that I just got the package and it was the same driver who hauled tail. They said they would be opening an investigation into the driver. I also told them about how fast he was driving through the neighborhood.
I felt like a Karen calling to complain, but I truly believe this driver was running a package scam. He marks a package as delivered, the customer says they never received it, the driver says “Well, someone probably took it before you looked for it.”
89. Are You Chicken?
My neighbor is a cop and his kids would always come over to my yard and throw rocks at my house, screech loudly, harass my chickens and leave their coop open, etc. I put up a no trespassing sign and they still showed up. I put up some wire fencing and they still showed up. There was nothing I could actually do to get them in trouble because they felt they were “above the law,” given that their dad IS the law.
But luckily, last year I worked at a Halloween store, and so I put a rubber pig mask on the light post in my backyard. Needless to say, he doesn’t let his kids over here anymore.
Our cats did this all by themselves. Our neighbors got a small yappy dog and they would let it go outside. Our cats figured out if they sat on the fence and stared at him, it would drive the dog completely insane. They were completely safe because the dog couldn’t jump that high. They would sit there just watching him lose his temper.
The neighbor asked us to please tell our cats to stop torturing their dog, and we said, “Well, they’re cats…they’re not really gonna listen to us. How about you don’t leave your dog outside all the time?” The guy was kind of a jerk anyway, so we didn’t have much motivation to stop them anyway. The dog seemed to be on the verge of losing its sanity, so eventually, they just stopped leaving the dog outside all the time.
91. Oops, I Did It Again
In college, the guy in the dorm room next to mine was apparently a bit insane. He would bang on our shared wall whenever he heard any noise. The first time he did it, I was just talking to a friend in my room at normal volume in the middle of the day. It kept going like this for months. He once banged on our wall for like five minutes because I sneezed. One day we noticed that he had a large pair of panties and a pair of earplugs taped to his door.
There was a note that read: “Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it.” Apparently, his neighbors on the other side were sick of him, too. So one weekend, I was leaving the dorm to visit home, and he started banging on the wall because I flushed a toilet. That was the last straw. I ended up putting a Britney Spears song on repeat, with my speakers up against his wall, and I left for the weekend…being sure to lock all the doors behind me.
92. That’s Bananas
I had a girl at my old apartment complex open the washer with my clothes inside, take them out, and put them on the folding table. She did this right in front of me as I was removing my second load into the dryer. I asked what she was doing and she was like, “These have been in here for like 20 minutes,” and I was like, “No, they haven’t.”
I used the laundry app and it said it had just finished washing two minutes prior. I was literally about to put them in the dryer, so I told her, “Please don’t touch my clothes like that.” She just let out a rude scoff. I went back 45 minutes later to take my clothes out of the dryer and she was in there doing the same thing AGAIN with someone else’s load. She was taking their damp clothes out to put her own load in.
I knew for a fact the clothes were just done because the cycle only goes for 45 minutes. So I decided to teach her a lesson. I threw my half-eaten banana in with her wash.
93. Hitting Back Where It Hurts
I had two freshman roommates that kept eating all of my food. Within the first week, when classes hadn’t even started yet, I went to make myself a peanut butter sandwich. My first peanut butter sandwich in this dorm. A special moment. But when I arrived at the kitchen to prepare it, the entire tub of peanut butter was completely gone. They also left the empty tub in my cupboard.
Anyway, I flipped the heck out, because who on earth eats a whole tub of someone else’s peanut butter by themselves, without even bothering to introduce themselves first? These girls would literally scarf down all my food, yet complain if they thought anyone was touching theirs. So I came up with a plan for revenge.
I started buying really fattening food, lots of chips and doughnuts, etc. I was trying to teach them self-restraint, but these idiots would go through these bags and boxes within two days. So I kept buying doughnuts. And then, one day, they started complaining about how they couldn’t fit into their jeans anymore. Success.
I also put laxatives in my peanut butter. That’ll teach ‘em to mess with me and my food!
94. It Didn’t Add up
I interned in a class with this kid who always thought he was smarter than everyone else. He was pretty smart, but not by too much. Yet he always got paired with kids who weren’t as smart as him, so he would always be super smug when dealing with them. During one parent-teacher conference, we found out exactly where he got it from.
His parents thought he was the smartest kid in the school. They built him up as that and they got him thinking it, too. In this meeting, they even went off on the teacher, saying she “was bringing him down” and that she “was terrible.” The conference ended when the teacher left the room crying. But it didn’t take long for sweet revenge.
About a week later, there was an event where parents came to watch their children do math games with other students. Well, the teacher paired this smug little kid with the actual smartest kid in class. The kid got destroyed in the math games. His parents were so flustered, they left before it was all done and took him out of school for the rest of the day.
95. Cheaters Never Prosper
I knew my ex wife was cheating but didn’t tell her that I knew. Took her out for a dinner date and I casually asked questions about who she had been spending time with while I was at sea, she barely worked so she had to spend her time doing something. She failed to mention the guy that had been staying at my house for nearly two months, the guy she had to call the cops on just to get to leave because I was coming home in two days…
Soooo I slid her a copy of the police report that was filed for the incident and watched as she crumbled over the fact she had been caught, and I didn’t have to say a word.
96. The Cost Of Cheating
We dated for four years and had what I thought was a great relationship. We were both well-established professionals who both owned homes in the same neighborhood and both had daughters in the home. Her daughter was 11, and mine was 16 when we met. We had actually planned to get married, build a house, and raise the two together.
We planned the house build because she had recently been diagnosed with a neurological illness that would eventually put her in a wheelchair, and needed something disability-friendly. During the planning stages, I began doing landscape and construction projects on her home to increase the resale value. All in, I invested roughly $30K into the home, running everything through my side construction business for tax, permitting, and resale purposes.
We had a contract that “payment” would be made upon the sale of the home. I produced invoices for each and every project, but never pushed for payment because of the prior agreement. Fast forward six months, we’re looking at property to develop and finalizing drawings on the home when I began feeling ill. I couldn’t eat, constantly vomiting and passing blood.
I began noticing that my abdomen looked swollen, which was odd because we were both very clean eaters and were in the gym every day. So I went to the doctor and began having tests done. During this time, she began having small cognitive issues, and the stress of her current position was exacerbating her condition, so she took a $20K per anum cut in pay along with a lesser position inside the company.
After a month or so of different tests, and a biopsy, it came back that I had a golf ball-sized tumor in my stomach, and would need to begin chemotherapy. So I began chemo and radiation treatments, which made me, expectedly so, extremely ill. She was spending time helping around my place on the weekends and staying over more, to the point that both her and her daughter were at my home more than theirs.
At this point, I suggested that we go ahead and put one of our houses on the market, and move in together until the new house was built. I have great supplemental insurance as well as a long-term health plan, so using that coupled with the sale of one of our houses would push us through comfortably, and help ease the financial stress on her. This backfired on me horribly.
Shortly after this discussion, she became extremely distant. Her daughter wasn’t coming down and hanging out with mine anymore, and she had excuses for not getting together. She quit driving me to treatments and stopped staying over. She then dropped the truth. A sentence that will forever be burned into my psyche: “I love you, but I can’t see myself taking care of someone this sick in the long-term, and I don’t think we should see each other any longer.”
A. TEXT. It broke me. I won’t lie. This was the first woman I had ever opened up to and planned a life with since my wife passed when my children were 1 and 3. However, I tried to be mature about it. I forced myself to understand her position and to accept what I could not change. I calmly, the next day, gathered all of her things, packed them neatly, loaded them in my truck, and took them to her house to leave on the back porch while she was at work, in order to avoid any awkward exchanges.
Walking around the back and under the porch cover, I sat down on a box, and saw her in her back living room. I wish I could unsee what came next. She was there getting it on with a man that she had introduced to me as a life-long friend. I had once had dinner and drinks with this man and his girlfriend. We had gone on vacation with them as well.
I never spoke of the incident with her, and simply sent her a text later, explaining that I would leave her things on my side porch to pick up at her convenience. I discovered eight or nine months later from his now ex-girlfriend that they had broken up due to him confessing that he had been sleeping with my partner, dating back to about the time we were finishing drawings on the new home.
Now I’m angry. Revenge time. At this point, I had finished chemo and radiation for the time being and was feeling healthier. I was going through some much-neglected paperwork when I ran across the file that contained $32,680.00 in unpaid, long overdue invoices, which were promptly sent to my attorney to begin lien proceedings on the home.
It turns out that I couldn’t have done this a moment too soon because she was set to put her house on the market. Coupled with interest over the course of, what was then, 19 months overdue, the invoices were hefty. That, along with the agreement of settling them when the house was sold and attorney fees, left her with roughly $10K after the sale of the home and settling her current mortgage.
She promptly had to back out of the purchase of another home and moved in with her oldest daughter and two grandchildren. She also had to leave her job and begin receiving disability. I ran into her a little over a year ago, and she looked as if she had aged 20 years, and was in the wheelchair we had talked about. We chatted cordially but briefly and I excused myself and went on with my day.
A few days later, her younger daughter called me and spoke of my running into her mom, and could we hang out sometime. I gave a vague answer, thanked her for calling and again, went on with my day. The ex then called me a week or so later, and began apologizing for leaving me as she did. Again, cordial but short, I thanked her for calling and hung up.
She began texting, and this went on for several weeks until once she asked if I could ever see us rekindling what we had, to which I replied: “I can’t see myself taking care of someone so sick in the long-term. Remember the box on your back porch? Did you think that (life-long friend) brought that over to you from my house? Good luck to you. Goodbye.”
97. The Mother Of All Pettiness
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother’s birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date. But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. My mother said I “ruined her birthday”—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August.
98. Sounds Wrong
My uncle is a deputy sheriff, and one time, he was at an airport speaking to my aunt over the phone in Spanish. Once he was done with his call, some nearby Karen who overheard him went up to him and started demanding to see his green card. Huge mistake. My uncle decided to mess with her and said he didn’t know what a green card was.
He told her he had never even heard of it. She became more upset and kept demanding to see it. He messed with her more and then eventually went, “Well, I don’t have a green card, but I have this,” then brought out his wallet and showed her his badge. She immediately walked away while my uncle just kept laughing at her.
99. That’s On You
I film and edit promotional videos, then post them on my company’s YouTube channel. The day after I uploaded a particular run-of-the-mill video, my manager called me into his office because one of our directors, who hates our department and loves undermining me in particular, sent an email to my manager and a few higher-ups. That’s when it got cringey.
In the email, he stated that I had messed up the promo video, because there were “all of these other disgusting videos attached to it.” As proof, he included a screenshot of the end of the video, where all of the recommended videos appeared to star scantily-clad Asian women in suggestive poses. Neither he nor my manager knew how YouTube algorithms worked.
He didn’t realize that the videos were suggested because he, or someone on his account, viewed that kind of content before. I have no idea how my manager explained this to him.
100. Getting The Message
Sooooo, I have a huge number of stories about this monstrosity of a man that I call my father-in-law. I really didn’t expect to have many more new ones at this point, but life is full of surprises. Some back story is that this man has been awful towards me and mistreated me for many years. Never physically, mostly in the form of extreme name-calling.
Some of the other things he’s done to me have included gaslighting, making me feel guilty for completely normal things, blaming me for his lack of relationship with my son, etc. It goes on and on. Some more backstory is that I was pregnant with twins until January—when tragedy struck. They were stillborn. My husband and I were heartbroken, and are still trying to grieve and move past this.
Anyways, this morning I was at my computer working from home, making my to-do list and relishing the fact that I lost another pound on the scale, when suddenly a Facebook message comes through from my father-in-law. Now, this is weird because we’re not friends on Facebook, even though we have sent messages to one another in the distant, distant past.
Also, I don’t really use Facebook anymore. I haven’t for years at this point. But nevertheless, this man apparently somehow found out about my babies dying. He sent me a message so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. It said: “Doesn’t karma suck? The worst part is you still have a lot more coming 🙂 !” Word for word, complete with the emoji and all. I was fuming—but, only for a few minutes.
It was like a PTSD response or something, because my adrenaline was running, my hands were shaking, I was afraid, the whole nine yards. But then I realized that this guy is just sad. He’s sick and hateful. He doesn’t love my son (his grandson), he loves his possessions and he hates me for taking one of his possessions (i.e. my son) away from him when we moved out of state.
He never even asked how my son is doing after losing his baby brother and sister. Sick, sick, sick. So, I made up a plan for revenge. I came to the decision to post on Facebook for the first time in like four years. I told all of those friends about the babies, the tragic loss, and finished off with the beautiful message my father-in-law sent me this morning.
Behavior like this cannot live in the sunlight. It thrives in the shadows. I was afraid of him for years, but I’m not afraid of him anymore! He doesn’t have anything to take from me. He doesn’t hold any power over me. I’m already getting messages from his family telling me how disgusting he is. I’m sure he’s heard about my post by now. Public shaming for the win! In addition, my son is going to be 14 years old this month.
He’s old enough now to hear the truth about his grandfather. So, if he wants to hear about it, I will tell him. If he doesn’t, I’ll respect that. My response to my father-in-law? “My son will know who his grandfather is. He loved those babies too.” So, good luck to my father-in-law in trying to have a relationship with my son any time soon.
Does he not realize that my son actually loves me and our family? What a doofus. I’m sure he doesn’t even realize that my son isn’t a sweet six-year-old anymore and that he’s capable of having his own thoughts and opinions now.